Gastric banding is a type of weight-loss surgery that involves placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to decrease stomach size and reduce food intake.
It is approved for use as a weight-loss treatment all over the world.
The band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, and the tube attached to the band is accessible through a port under the skin of abdomen.
Using this port, the surgeon injects saline solution into the band to inflate it.
Adjustments are made to alter the degree of constriction around the stomach. The band creates a small stomach pouch above it, with the rest of the stomach below.
The smaller stomach pouch reduces the amount of food that can be held in the stomach at any one time. The result is an increased feeling of fullness after eating a smaller amount of food. This, in turn, reduces hunger and helps lower overall food intake.
An advantage of this form of bariatric procedure is that all food consumed is digested and absorbed normally. There is no malabsorption.
- the possibility of long-term weight loss for those with obesity
- relatively rapid recovery
- smaller chance of wound infections and hernias after surgery
- reduced risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, urinary incontinence, and other conditions related to excess weight
- no loss of nutrient absorption
- improved quality of life after surgery in many cases
- Fully reversible when medically indicated
- No cutting or stapling of the stomach
- Short hospital stay
- Quick recovery
- Adjustable without additional surgery
- No nutrition issues (because no intestines are bypassed)
- Fewer life-threatening complications
Risks of weight loss surgery
Weight loss surgery carries a small risk of complications.
- being left with excess folds of skin – you may need further surgery to remove these
- not getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet – you’ll probably need to take supplements for the rest of your life after surgery
- gallstones (small, hard stones that form in the gallbladder)
- a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism)
- the gastric band slipping out of place, food leaking from the join between the stomach and small intestine, or the gut becoming blocked or narrowed
Before having surgery, speak to your surgeon about the possible benefits and risks of the procedure.