Adjustable Gastric Band

Statistics

Weight loss: Slow and gradual. Lose 40-50 percent of excess body weight in 24 or more months.
Surgery time: Less than one hour
Hospital stay: Typically discharged same day
Recovery time: About 10 days

During the adjustable gastric band procedure, a thin, inflatable ring (gastric band) is placed around the upper part of your stomach, forming a small pouch with a narrow opening to the lower stomach. This significantly limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time, which helps you to feel fuller sooner. The size of the stomach opening can be adjusted by filling the band with sterile saline, which is injected through a port placed under the skin.

The effectiveness of adjustable gastric banding depends more on your ability to change your eating behavior and lifestyle, so you must be consistent about making healthy food choices and exercising regularly. Regular visits with a dietitian, counseling, and support groups are encouraged.

The procedure is usually performed laparoscopically using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Potential Advantages

  • Reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold
  • Lowest risk of malabsorption and fewer vitamin deficiencies
  • No cutting, stapling, or re-routing of the intestinal tract
  • No dumping syndrome (when food passes through the system too fast resulting in severe cramping, nausea, sweats, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Adjustable
  • Removable, if medically necessary

Potential Disadvantages

  • Slower and less early weight loss than Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and gastric sleeve
  • Requires a long-term medical device to be implanted in your body
  • Can result in possible band slippage or band erosion into the stomach
  • Can have mechanical problems with the band, tube, or port
  • Can result in dilation of the esophagus if the patient overeats
  • Requires strict adherence to the postoperative diet and follow-up visits