The Reversible Option
The gastric band procedure is the least invasive and only reversible and adjustable weight loss surgery available. It involves no cutting of the stomach or bypassing the small intestine. Gastric band surgery offers the shortest recovery time with the lowest risk of complications.
How the Gastric Band Works
Gastric banding is preformed laparoscopically, which means that the surgeon makes tiny incisions, less than ½ inch each in the abdomen, rather than a single, large incision, like traditional surgery. The result is minimal recovery time, pain and potential blood loss.
The band itself is made of a soft, silicone-like material. During the procedure, the surgeon places the band around the upper portion of the stomach, forming two stomach chambers. The smaller, upper chamber becomes the area where food enters the stomach. Because it is so much smaller, you feel full with a much smaller amount of food, therefore you consume less and lose weight.
The band is connected to a small port just under the skin that is virtually invisible. The port allows the surgeon or specially trained nurse to inject saline into the band in order to tighten or loosen it. These adjustments are commonly referred to as band fills or unfills and are routinely preformed during your office visit.
After the procedure, the gastric band will need to be regularly maintained. During your office visit, you will be evaluated to determine if an adjustment (fill or unfill) is necessary. Properly filling or removing fluid the band maximizes the tool’s effectiveness to achieve weight loss success.
Contrary to what you might expect, too much fluid in your band can result in complications or even weight gain. Several adjustments may be necessary to find the right restriction for you- feeling satisfied on smaller portions. It is very important that gastric band patients follow their prescribed post-surgery instructions and make it to their routine office visits.
No Supplements Required
Gastric band patients usually don’t need additional vitamins or supplements to stay healthy since the procedure does not interfere with food absorption.
Two Gastric Band Systems
The two gastric banding systems are the Lap-Band® (Apollo Endosurgery) and the Realize® Band (Ethicon). Both bands are very similar in shape and function in much the same way.
Like any surgery, gastric banding has some potential for complications such as pouch dilation, band erosion or port problems. However, these problems are not common. With help from our team and dedication to a weight loss plan, most patients see excellent results.