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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. 

Considering LapBand Surgery or Realize Surgery? Join us for a free online or in-person seminar to explore your weight loss surgery options.

Adjustable Gastric Band: How does it work?

HW_gastricband.jpgThe 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
  • Adjustable
  • Reversible


  • 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


Quick Reference

Weight Management Center


Mon - Fri, 8:30 to 4:30

Our Locations: 

Medical Plaza - Country Club
4614 Country Club Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27104

Medical Plaza - North Elm
3903 North Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27455

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Fox 8 Interview

Fox 8 Interview

Is weight loss surgery right for you? Dr. Fuzz Fernandez discusses to pros and cons with Fox 8 in Winston-Salem, NC.

Last Updated: 10-04-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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