Gastric Banding is a laparoscopic surgical procedure where an adjustable band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. The band works in two ways; it provides pressure on the upper stomach, creating a sensation of fullness, and it also causes restriction. There is a device implanted under the skin during surgery, which later can be accessed by a needle to adjust the tightness of the band around the stomach. It is the least complicated of the surgical procedures. The stomach and intestines are not cut, divided, or bypassed. Most people can go home the same day and return to normal activities when they feel comfortable.
The weight loss with the Gastric Band is usually slower in comparison to the other surgical procedures. We expect to see about one pound of weight loss per week on average in the first year, which means approximately 50 pounds for most patients. Patients can continue to lose weight for three years or more if they continue to work with the band. Most successful patients are eventually able to eat meat, fruits and vegetables and drink liquids with zero calories. Foods like dense meats, bread, rice or pasta may be difficult or impossible to eat. Patients must come back to the office for adjustments or filling of the band in order to maximize the success of the band. It may take one to ten adjustments to get the correct amount of fluid in the band. Don't let this discourage you; all of the surgeries have at least four post-operative appointments in the first year.
We use both the Lap Band® and the Realize Band™. They are very similar and seem to have the same results as well as complications. The Realize Band™ has a web-based support system that patients really enjoy.
Less invasive, with minimal recovery time
No malabsorption of nutrients
Can be removed if needed
The complications or risks of the procedure include: bleeding, pain, infection of the band, port or tubing, possible slipping of the band, possible erosion of the band into the stomach or other organs, injury to any organ at the time of surgery, inadequate weight loss, or weight gain. A more complete list of complications is discussed on the consent form.