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What is a Gastric Band?


Gastric BandLaparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Gastric Banding is a procedure that is performed laparoscopically. The principle of the procedure is very simple. The surgery involves the implantation of an adjustable soft band around the top of the stomach. This band is connected to a small tube and reservoir that allows the surgeon or an appropriately trained associate to add or remove fluid, to make it tighter or looser.

The placement of the band creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach, about the size of a golf ball. This pouch holds approximately Ĺ cup of food, whereas the typical stomach holds about 6 cups of food. This in essence creates a very restricting effect, reducing the volumes of foodstuff that can be tolerated as well as retaining food in the stomach for longer. This helps to provide a feeling of fullness more quickly and for a longer period of time, making you feel satisfied with much less food. It should also decrease your appetite between meals, although this will vary between individuals.

After placement of the gastric band, you will require additions of fluid to the band or adjustments to ensure its effectiveness. The first fill generally occurs 3 weeks following your operation. This is done by introducing a saline solution into the access port under the skin. When the band is inflated, it places pressure around the outside of the stomach which restricts the movement of food. The band can be adjusted (filled or emptied, inflated or deflated) to control hunger.The optimal restriction for you may take several visits to the clinic. The goal is to have the band adjusted so that you achieve sufficient restriction with minimal complications.


From the patientís point of view, the main advantage of this procedure is that it does not require parts of the stomach to be removed or stapled as with other bariatric procedures and therefore nutrients are absorbed from food normally. The procedure will permit fairly normal foodstuffs to be eaten in limited quantities.

In terms of weight loss, we expect people to lose approximately two-thirds of their excess body weight. The time frame that this will take will vary from person to person, but generally an initial goal weight should be reached approximately 18months after surgery.

The issue that must be understood for patients undergoing adjustable gastric banding is that the gastric band does need regular attention for adjustment purposes.† Achieving the correct amount of restriction for one to have a good quality of life as well as good weight loss involves adjustment of the band probably every 4-6 weeks for the first 12-18 months.† Sometimes the frequency of these adjustments can be more or less depending on the progress of the patient.† It is† important for the patient to understand that at no time does follow up of the band end.† We insist that there is no such thing as discharge from the clinic but we do start to spread out the reviews over the years.† Even if a patient has to travel or indeed moves interstate or overseas, ongoing follow up with an appropriately trained surgeon or specialist will be required.