According to The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMB), 3.4% percent of bariatric surgeries were Gastric Band Surgeries. Gastric Banding is used to treat extreme or morbid obesity. The Food and Drug Administration approves of this weight-loss treatment. Patients choose this procedure because it is minimally invasive, quick and reversible, and it is an adjustable surgical procedure that helps you to lose weight very quickly.

The purpose of this procedure is to constrict the stomach, which allows patients to feel full after eating smaller portions. Gastric banding is a kind of bariatric surgery that involves putting a silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach to decrease the stomach volume and reduce food intake.

The surgeon places a band around the upper part of the stomach and attaches a tube to the band which can be accessed through a port under the skin of the abdomen.  The surgeon injects a type of saline solution into the band through the port to change its size. These adjustments will change the degree of constriction around the stomach. As a result, the band creates a small stomach pouch above the stomach, leaving the remaining portion of the stomach below.

By reducing the stomach size, the band also reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold at a particular time making the patients feel full even after eating smaller amounts of food. This reduces the appetite and helps to reduce the overall food intake.

After the surgery, your doctor will provide you with a diet and schedule for eating.  In the beginning, there are restrictions for food intake.  The guidelines for eating post surgery is as follows:

  • For the first week, the diet will be limited to water and fluids only, such as thin soups.
  • At the end of the 4th week, liquids and blended foods, like yogurt and pureed vegetables can be taken.
  • After that, soft food can be added.
  • And finally, after 6-8 weeks, the patient can resume the normal diet.

How do you know if Gastric Banding is the best option for you? A surgeon may recommend this surgery to people with 30-35 BMI only if they have other obesity-related problems or other procedures have proven ineffective.

Generally, doctors do not recommend this surgery to the people:

  • Are going through drug or alcohol abuse disorder.
  • Are suffering from psychiatric illness
  • Do not understand the risk and benefits, consequences, and lifestyle changes they will have to make.

A benefit of using gastric banding is that it allows the body to digest as usual without any malabsorption.  Another benefit is the procedure is it is performed laparoscopically, thus reducing the risks and it provides a quicker recovery.

Other benefits of laparoscopic gastric banding are:

  • Higher chances of long-term weight loss.
  • Rapid Recovery
  • Fewer chances of wound infections and hernias post-surgery
  • Lesser risk of diabetes, blood pressure, urinary incontinence, and other obesity-related conditions.
  • Improved Quality of life post-surgery

Finally, patients can also choose to remove or adjust the band. Adjustability means that the band can be tightened or loosened if the desired weight is not lost or there is vomiting after eating.

Like any surgery, there are certain risks associated with Gastric Band surgery as well. Some of those risks are:

  • Weight loss is generally slower compared with other types of surgery
  • The band can slip or it may erode into the stomach. Thus requiring removal.
  • The port can also shift, thus requiring another surgery.
  • Some people have shown a serious reaction to anesthesia
  • The patient needs to strictly comply with dietary instructions, as overeating can cause vomiting or dilation of the esophagus.

If you have questions about Gastric Banding, or if you feel this is the best procedure for you, please feel free to contact our office and one of our friendly staff will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.