Gastric Banding - Obesity Surgery Guide

What is gastric banding?

Gastric banding or to give it its full title – Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB) is a straightforward procedure.  Your surgeon makes a series of incisions and then places a silicone band around the top part of the stomach to create a pouch.  This causes food intake to be restricted.  Food moves very slowly from this pouch to the lower part of the stomach via a narrow passage created by the band.  This slowing down of your food intake will cause you to feel full a lot quicker than usual.  This band can be adjusted depending on your food intake and the amount of weight lost.

What is a gastric band?

A gastric band consists of a hollow ring, made of silicone attached to a length of tubing with an ‘access port' at one end.  This hollow tube is designed to fit around the stomach in a similar way to a wristwatch.
It is wrapped around the top part of the stomach which then forms a pouch.  This pouch can only hold a small amount of food.  Due to this constriction food can only travel very slowly – ‘drip feed' from the pouch down to the larger part of the stomach. 

The access port fits just under the skin.  The surgeon injects a saline solution into the access port which travels down the tubing and into the ring.  This causes the ring to expand.  Fluid can be introduced or removed at any time which will either inflate or deflate the tube.  This is why it is called an ‘adjustable' system.

Types of gastric bands

There are three types of gastric bands: the ‘LAP-BAND AP' system, the newer ‘Realize' system and the ‘Easy' band (only available through one source in the UK).

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