According to the estimates of The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), around 216,000 bariatric surgeries were performed in the United States in 2016. Of which, 3.4% percent were Gastric Band Surgeries. Gastric Banding is another common bariatric surgery to treat extreme or morbid obesity. The purpose of this procedure is to constrict the stomach, which allows patients to feel full after eating less food than usual.
Gastric Band is considered a minimally invasive, quick and reversible, and adjustable surgical procedure that helps you to lose weight very quickly.
How Does Gastric Banding Work?
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.
Food and Drug Administration has approved its use as a weight-loss treatment.
The surgeon will tie the band around the upper part of the stomach and attach a tube to the band. That tube can be accessed through a port under the skin of the abdomen.
Through this same port, the surgeon injects a type of saline solution into the band to change its size. These adjustments will change the degree of constriction around the stomach. Consequently, the band will create a small stomach pouch above it, with 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. Thus, the patients start to feel full even after eating just a smaller amount of food. This, consequently, reduces the appetite and helps to reduce the overall food intake.
One benefit of using gastric banding is that it allows the body to digest as usual, without any malabsorption.
Diet After Surgery
In the beginning, the eating of food must be restricted:
- 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.
Who should have it?
In earlier times, doctors recommend gastric banding surgery only to people having 35+ BMI. The people in the BMI range of 30-34.9 also had opted for this surgery only if there were some obesity-related problems like diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea.
A surgeon may now recommend this surgery to some people with 30-35 BMI only if:
They have other obesity-related problems
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.
Benefits of Gastric Banding
Following are the benefits of laparoscopic gastric banding :
- 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
The patients can also choose to remove or adjust the band. Adjustability means that the band can be tightened or loosened, for instance, if the desired weight is not lost, or there is vomiting after eating.
Risks Involve in Gastric Banding
Like any other surgery, there are certain risks associated with Gastric Band surgery as well. Some of those risks are listed below:
- 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.
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