Adjustable Gastric Band
The Adjustable Gastric Band is safe, less invasive and less traumatic than other weight-loss surgeries because it requires no stomach cutting, stapling or gastrointestinal re-routing. A key advantage is that the procedure is not permanent. If the band needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.
The Weight Management Center offers both types of adjustable gastric bands available in the United States: the LapBand AP system and the Realize system.
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Adjustable Gastric Band: How does it work?
The procedure allows patients to feel full longer by pinching off a small portion of the stomach with a removable, adjustable band. The surgeon creates a small stomach pouch that will only hold a small amount of food and can be adjusted for each patient's needs. When the patient eats, food passes slowly from the small stomach pouch to the rest of the stomach, resulting in a more satisfied feeling.
Your surgeon can make the band tighter or looser by filling it with saline solution through a port device located just under your skin. The port is not visible.
Adjustments are often done in the clinic. They involve passing a fine needle through the skin into the access port to add or subtract saline. Sometimes they must be performed in the X-ray department so your doctor can clearly see the access port. This process most often takes only a few minutes and most patients say it is nearly painless.
Adjustable Gastric Band: Is it right for me?
The gastric band procedure is reversible and less invasive. But overall weight loss is slower and less dramatic. For example, two to four years after surgery, weight loss averages 40 percent of excess body weight with the band, compared to 70 percent with the more invasive gastric bypass.
Here are some other factors to consider:
- Reduction of associated health conditions
- Less invasive approach
- No stomach stapling, cutting or intestinal rerouting
- Slower weight loss than gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy
- Less overall weight loss than gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy
- More follow-up is required for band adjustments to obtain the maximum weight loss
- Slower resolution of comorbidities
- Highest rate of re-operations for late complications or problems
- Intolerance of certain foods such as breads, pasta, or thick cut or dry meats
Need to know more? Learn about Laparoscopic gastric banding in our health encyclopedia or read our Weight Loss Surgery FAQ