What is Adjustable Gastric Banding?

Adjustable Gastric Banding is an adjustable surgical treatment for morbid obesity. It induces weight loss by reducing the capacity of the stomach, thereby restricting the amount of food that can be consumed at one time.

Adjustable Gastric Banding

How Does the Procedure Work?

Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny stomach pouch.

  • This procedure is performed by inserting a tiny camera (laparoscope) into the abdomen. The surgeon makes several tiny incisions and uses long, slender instruments to implant the device.
  • Your surgeon will wrap a small band around the upper part of the stomach that separates it from the lower part of your stomach. This forms a small pouch that captures the food you ingest.
  • This type of surgery does not involve any type of stapling or cutting. Because of this, the Gastric Banding Procedure is considered to be the least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries.
  • The surgery can often last between 30-60 minutes, depending on your surgeon's prior experience.
  • This procedure can be done can be done with the assistance of a surgical robot, aiding in a quicker recovery time and less scarring. Ask your doctor for more information.

There are two FDA approved systems. Both involve an adjustable silicone band that connects to an access port below the skin by thin, kink-resistant silicone tubing. The port allows the surgeon to adjust the size of the band for a customized weight-loss rate for each patient.

Adding or removing saline to the inflatable balloon on the inner surface of the band can control the amount and consumption rate of food. The patient's weight loss, the amount of food that can be comfortably eaten, the exercise regimen, and other issues surrounding the patient's health determine adjustments to the band, which are performed during outpatient visits.

As a result, patients experience an earlier sensation of fullness and are satisfied with smaller amounts of food.

Because no permanent changes are made to the body's physiology, the procedure can be reversed. If necessary, all of the system components can be removed from the body with no damage to the digestive organs. The stomach will generally return to its original form and capacity once the band is removed.

Advantages of Adjustable Gastric Banding

  • Helps you lose and maintain weight loss by limiting the amount of food that can be eaten at a meal.
  • The band is adjustable to meet the individual needs of each person.
  • If desired, the procedure can be reversed, although this is not highly recommended.
  • No part of the stomach or digestive system is stapled, cut or removed.
  • Food passes through the digestive tract in the usual order allowing it to be fully absorbed into the body.

Recovery Time and Risks

By avoiding the large incision of open surgery, patients generally experience less pain and scarring. In addition, the hospital stay is shortened to an outpatient or an overnight stay.

All surgery carries the risk of complications and weight reduction surgery is no exception. Preventative measures are put into place to lessen the possibility; however, the risk of surgery in the obese patient is significantly greater than for the general population. The following potential risks are in addition to the general risks of surgery:

  • Gastric perforation or tearing of the stomach wall
  • Band migration/slippage
  • Access port leakage or twisting
  • Outlet obstruction
  • Pouch dilation
  • May not provide the necessary feeling of satisfaction that one has had enough to eat.

This does not take the place of informed consent with your surgeon.