This option involves placing a gastric band around the upper part of the stomach to divide the stomach into two sections. This produces a small upper compartment above the band and a larger compartment below the band. The smaller upper section significantly reduces the amount of food that a person can eat at one time, which generates a feeling of fullness after eating a small amount of food.

The band can be adjusted after surgery, which is a feature unique to the gastric band. Adjustment of the band is part of follow-up. Changing the size of the opening between the two stomach compartments controls the amount of food that passes from the upper to the lower section. Lap-Bands are adjusted by injecting or removing saline. To allow for adjustment, a tube is used to connect the band to a reservoir which is placed beneath the skin during surgery.

Benefits of Gastric Band surgery

The weight loss expected during the two years following gastric band surgery is 30% of excess weight. This is reliant upon your commitment to following the diet and exercise guidelines given to you by your medical weight loss team. The Lap-Band helps with long-term weight loss by:

  • Limiting the amount of food you can eat
  • Lowering your appetite
  • Reducing the speed of digestion

Because the lap-band is removable, adjustable and does not permanently change the anatomy, it provides an alternative treatment for patients who would not otherwise consider surgery for treatment of obesity.

Risks of Gastric Band surgery

Because this procedure involves the placing of a lap-band into the body, it can create risks of rejection or infection. Other risks may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Undesired moving of the band along the stomach
  • Band leakage
  • Injury to internal organs
  • Blood clots or pulmonary embolism during the post-operative period

Some patients experience slower initial weight loss with the gastric band system than with gastric bypass. It’s important to know that regular follow-up visits are critical to achieving the best possible results.

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