The Adjustable Gastric Band is a purely restrictive procedure which does not involve cutting or stapling the stomach. It limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time.
An adjustable gastric band is placed in the upper part of the stomach creating a small “pouch.” This is connected to an access port that is fixed to the left upper abdominal wall and sits deep under the skin. It is injected with saline six to eight weeks after placement. The adjustable balloon inflates and narrows the passage of food substances into the rest of the stomach. This causes a sensation of indigestion thus creating “restriction.” This reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. We offer both the Lap Band® and the Realize Band®.
While adjustable gastric banding surgery allows for more flexibility in the diet than gastric bypass surgery, the procedure requires you to make good dietary choices to achieve weight loss success. Adjustable gastric banding surgery results in few nutritional deficiencies, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Patients who have had the adjustable gastric banding procedure experience slower but steady weight loss, losing the bulk of their weight over the first two years. Successful results from adjustable gastric banding surgery depend on your willingness to adopt a life style of healthy eating, regular physical exercise and follow-up with the surgeon.
Advantages and Results
- The gastric band allows for normal digestion and absorption
- It does not involve alteration to the natural gastrointestinal system
- Patients can expect to lose 50% of their excess weight at the end of two years
- Low risk of malnutrition
- Reversible procedure
The various possible complications associated with the adjustable gastric band are listed below. It would be best to talk about these and other potential complications with your physician.
- Requires an implanted medical device that must be adjusted periodically or until appropriate restriction is achieved.
- Access port issues – Leaking or twisting of the access port can occur and may require a corrective operation.
- Tubing issues – Disconnection or kinking of the tubing can occur and may require a corrective operation.
- Failure to provide the sensation that one has had enough to eat.
- Injury to the stomach or esophagus.
- Migration or slippage of the band. Patient will report increase sensation of reflux and the ability to eat larger quantities of food without restriction.
- Erosion of the band into the stomach wall.
- Enlargement or damage to the esophagus can occur if the band is too constrictive or if patients over eat and vomit on a regular basis.
- A more gradual rate and less weight loss than that typically seen with other bariatric procedures.
- Weight gain can occur if patients do not comply with the appropriate dietary guidelines. It is recommended that all patients follow up at regular intervals during the first year and yearly thereafter with their bariatric surgeon. The best prevention to weight gain is early identification of maladaptive behaviors and modifying them.
- Regular follow-up is critical for optimal results.
Sources: American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases