Gastric Band Surgery for Weight Loss

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Adjustable gastric band surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that is used for obesity patients with body mass index (BMI) higher than 40, or patients who have BMI 30-40 and are diagnosed with co-morbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, or arthritis that could improve with weight loss.

Gastric lap band is recommended for:

To be indicated for gastric lap band you should be between 18 and 55 years old and must have failed to lose weight on diet and weight loss plans for more than a year.

Gastric band surgery is NOT recommended for:

Gastric banding is not recommended for people suffering from inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract such as ulcers, esophagitis or Crohn’s disease, or are allergic to the materials contained in the band.

The gastric band itself is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device which is placed around the top portion of the stomach through laparoscopic surgery.

How the gastric banding works?

After the gastric band surgery the band creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach which can hold about 50 ml. This small pouch ‘fills’ with food very rapidly and the passing of food from the top part to the lower part of the stomach is slowed.

As soon as the upper part of the stomach fills with food, a message to the brain is sent that the stomach is full and your appetite is curbed, so you eat less in smaller portions, and hence you lose weight over time.

Gastric lap band – an alternative to the other weight loss surgeries

  • The laparoscopic gastric banding is fully reversible – the stomach returns to its normal size if the band is removed
  • There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach
  • Gastric band surgery is preferred because of its lower mortality rate (only 1 in 2000) against the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (1 in 200)
  • You won’t spend days in hospital stay and will have very quick post surgical recovery
  • You won’t have any malabsorption problems because intestines are not bypassed in any way

Gastric band surgery has fewer complications

  • Band slippage or pouch dilation
  • Erosion of the band into the gastric lumen
  • Mechanical malfunctions
  • Port site pain or displacement
  • You may also feel nausea or vomiting
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Stoma obstruction
  • Constipation, Dysphagia, Diarrhea

I know all these sound scary, but there’s nothing to worry about if you visit your gastro specialist regularly. These complications happen very rarely and they just need to be mentioned, even if they happen once in a blue moon.

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