With gastric banding, an inflatable band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The band creates a smaller stomach pouch, restricting the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. The band also increases the time it takes for the stomach to empty. As a result, patients achieve sustained weight loss by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion.
Gastric banding surgery involves the following:
Using laparoscopic tools, the surgeon places an adjustable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach.Squeezed by the silicone band, the stomach becomes a pouch with about an inch-wide outlet. After banding, the stomach can only hold about an ounce of food.
A plastic tube runs from the silicone band to a device just under the skin. Saline (sterile salt water) can be injected or removed through the skin, flowing into or out of the silicone band. Injecting saline fills the band and makes it tighter.
In this way, the band can be tightened or loosened as needed. This can reduce side effects and improve weight loss.
Advantages of Gastric band:
Because the surgery uses laparoscopic techniques, patients experience less post-operative pain, recover quicker and are able to return to normal activities sooner, compared to other forms of bariatric surgery.
Risks of the procedure:
Laparoscopic surgery carries fewer risk factors because you don't need a major cut, or incision. Although complications from surgery are less common with laparoscopic surgery, they could include life-threatening blood clots, bleeding, or infection. The procedure also carries the same risk of any general anesthetic for breathing problems and reactions to medication or anesthesia. Other complications can include band slippage, gastric perforation, or obstruction to the flow of food through the band.
Food intolerance after gastric band surgery is common. For instance, you might not be able to digest red meat, a major source of dietary iron. This would put you at a higher risk for anemia.
There may be other risks, depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor before the procedure.
In general, most people can return to work 1 week after surgery (if their job is not too physically demanding). Normal activity can usually resume after 6 weeks.
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