The Gastric Band
What is this procedure?
The gastric band is a laparoscopic procedure where small incisions are made in the upper part of the stomach to allow the placement of a silicone band. The gastric band can be adjusted to fit more tightly or loosely around the stomach—based on the patient’s needs. Physicians can perform this by inflating or deflating the band with saline solution.
How does this procedure work?
By adding the silicone band to the upper part of the stomach and adjusting it to fit the patient’s meal intake limits, the gastric band works to restrict the stomach so that it is capable of only holding a limited amount of food. Creating a much smaller space for food to be stored in the stomach, patients undergoing this procedure will feel fuller with smaller meals and significantly reduce their caloric intake.
Who should do this procedure?
Patients with BMIs over 40 are good candidates for this procedure. However, those suffering from any type of chronic disease should not attempt to undergo the gastric band without presenting their physician with a thorough medical history. Adults with a BMI of 35-40 who have a weight-related health condition are also eligible.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
- Gastric band is a minimally-invasive and reversible procedure.
- The gastric band doesn’t alter the functionality of any organs, so the ability to properly absorb vitamins and minerals is unaffected (regular protein and calorie absorption).
- Some patients can experience results reaching up to 20% of excess weight loss after three months of using the band and 55% after a period of two years.