Bariatric Surgery
Ebariatric Surgery

Adjustable Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is a type of bariatric surgery that uses an adjustable band that fits around the upper part of the stomach. The band divides the upper portion of the stomach into a small pouch, separating it from the lower larger portion of the stomach. The banding limits food intake by causing you to feel full faster after eating. There is no stapling or removal of the stomach, nor are the intestines redirected. Adjustable banding surgery is also referred to as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and gastric banding.

Two types of adjustable gastric bands are REALIZE™ Band and LAP-BAND®.

The adjustable gastric band

The restrictive adjustable gastric band surgery involves placing a silicone band with an inflatable inner collar around the upper part of the stomach. The pouch created by the band forms a narrow passage to the lower part of the stomach. The band is connected to a small port that is placed inside the abdominal wall. The band is adjusted by injections of saline through the port known as a fill and can be adjusted over time. The band can be tightened or loosened to change the size of the passage, thus making it possible to tailor a weight loss program for each patient.

Bariatric Surgery Adjustable Gastric Banding
Adjustable Gastric Band

Adjustable gastric banding procedure

The REALIZE™ Band and LAP-BAND® adjustable gastric banding surgeries can be performed laparoscopically. Small incisions are made instead of one large one for less scarring and faster recovery. Gastric band surgery takes about one to two hours and can be done on an outpatient basis or may need a one-day hospital stay.

Adjustable gastric band facts

  • There are two major gastric banding procedures: LAP-BAND® and REALIZE™ Band.
  • The size of the stomach pouch is adjustable. The first adjustment is usually around six weeks after surgery.
  • Gastric bands must be adjusted an average of four - six times in the first year after surgery.
  • Adjustable gastric banding is reversible.
  • Adjustable gastric banding requires routine follow-up visits with your surgeon for adjustments.
  • Patients lose an average of five - 10 pounds per month and about two-thirds of their excess weight within two years after surgery.

Adjustable gastric banding risks

The key to successful weight loss is an overhaul of lifestyle in eating habits and physical activity. You must be aware of how your body responds after surgery, especially after meals. Consult with your doctor or surgeon about any problem that might occur with adjustable gastric band surgery. As with all other major weight loss surgeries, risks can occur.

Risks include the following:

  • Bleeding, infection
  • Dumping syndrome (intestinal pain, nausea, or vomiting caused by concurrent eating and drinking)
  • Band slippage, erosion, or deflation due to leakage
  • Stomach poach enlargement
  • Stomach outlet blockage
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Stretching of stomach pouch caused by overeating

Get more information on bariatric surgery

For more information on weight loss surgery, see the links above left. To find an adjustable gastric banding surgeon near you, use our bariatric surgeon locator.

Find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.

The REALIZE™ Adjustable Gastric Band is a trademark of Ethicon Endo-Surgery. The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc.

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