Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, like the gastric bypass surgery, involves restricting the stomach size. However, the process of restriction differs and is both adjustable and reversible.
The procedure is done laparoscopically through small incisions in the abdomen. A silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach which creates a small pouch. The stomach holds less food and induces feeling of satiety. The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis and takes about one hour. Many patients are able to return to work in one to two weeks. The band is adjustable. The silicone band around the stomach is hollow, and the band can be made tighter or looser by adding or removing saline. Adjustments are made to help with portion control and satiety. The band is usually adjusted every four to six weeks during the first year after surgery. This limits the amount of food you can eat. This helps patients feel fuller faster and you lose weight because you eat less.
The band is adjustable and customized to each patient and can be removed if necessary. It is the least invasive option and it does not involve stomach stapling, cutting or intestinal rerouting. The band has the lowest complication rate and has a very low risk of malnutrition.
The procedure produces much slower initial weight loss than gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. It relies on regular follow-up for optimal results. The adjustable gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass surgery help in weight loss by limiting the amount of food the stomach will hold before feeling full. The gastric bypass has the added weight loss benefit of bypassing a regulatory muscular valve at the end of the stomach known as the pylorus. If patients eat the wrong kinds of food such as high-calorie, concentrated sweets they will experience bloating, diarrhea, nausea and cramping. This does not occur after the band surgery because the stomach is left intact.
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