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Overview of Adjustable Gastric Banding Procedure or Lap Band Surgery


What is an adjustable gastric banding surgery?
Approved by the FDA, Adjustable Gastric Banding is a minimally invasive surgery that involves applying prosthesis (the lap-band) around the stomach – creating a small gastric pouch – and a calibrated opening to the rest of the stomach.

It is a form of restrictive weight-loss surgery (bariatrics) designed for obesity patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or for those with a BMI between 35 and 40 and who have co-morbidities that are known to improve with weight loss. The gastric band is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device which is placed around the top portion of the stomach via surgery.

Adjusting the size of the opening between the two parts of the stomach controls how much food passes from the upper to the lower part of the stomach. This opening (stoma) between the two parts of the stomach can easily be decreased or increased, by injecting or removing saline from the band. The band is connected by a tube to a reservoir placed beneath the skin during surgery. The surgeon can later control the amount of saline in the band by piercing the reservoir through the skin with a fine needle. This adjustment is done to achieve the right weight loss for one’s individual needs.

How does gastric banding help a person to lose weight?
The placement of the band creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach that holds approximately 2 ounces of food. The inflatable ring controls the flow of food from this smaller pouch to the rest of the digestive tract. This pouch fills with food quickly and the passage of food from the top to the bottom of the stomach is slowed. As the upper part of the stomach believes it is ‘full’, the message to the brain is that the stomach is full and this sensation helps the person to eat smaller portions. And because of the slow emptying, the patient will continue to feel full for several hours reducing the urge to eat between meals thereby helping them to lose weight over time.

Adjustable gastric banding helps you achieve long-lasting weight loss by:
•    limiting the amount of food you intake
•    reducing your appetite
•    slowing the digestion process

Who is a candidate for gastric banding surgery?
In general, gastric banding is indicated for people for whom all of the following apply:
•    Body Mass Index above 40, or those who are overweight by a 100 pounds (45 kg) or more, or those between 35 and 40 with co-morbidities which may improve with weight loss (high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and arthritis)
•    If you are an adult between 18 and 55 years of age
•    Serious attempts to lose weight through changes in the diet or weight-loss drug therapy have failed for more than one year
•    You have been overweight for more than 5 years
•    You are willing to comply with major lifelong changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
•    You do not drink alcohol in excess

The above are general guidelines and the individual must discuss their suitability for the gastric banding procedure with their surgeon.

What are the different types of gastric banding surgeries?
There are two types of gastric banding surgery: open and laparoscopic.
Open gastric banding surgery is the traditional way of carrying out the procedure.
Laparoscopic gastric banding is a minimally invasive way of doing the surgery involving a few small incisions, shortened hospital stay, and quicker recovery.

Procedure Details of Gastric Banding

Life After Gastric Banding

Cost and Availability of Gastric Banding


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