What is a Gastric Band?


Gastric Band

, also known as a Lap Band, is an advanced tool for fighting obesity. In morbidly obese patients a laparoscopic procedure places an adjustable silicon band around the top portion of the stomach. Generally, this surgery is recommended for patients having a BMI (Body mass Index) of 40 or more. However, FDA has approved the procedure be performed on people having BMI between 30-40 and one weight related morbidity issue like diabetes or hypertension.

Gastric Band

How does a Gastric Band work?

The band is placed such that it forms a small pouch on the top of the stomach. The pouch can barely hold ½ cup of food . The entire stomach would need at least 6 cups to be full. The pouch is filled with a little amount of food and the adjustable band slows down the rate at which it is passed on to the remaining part of the stomach below.

As the pouch gets filled, the body sends the message to the brain that it the entire stomach is full. Thus, the body feels fuller and less hungry in between meals. Small meals over the day would be sufficient, thus helping the patient lose weight.

As the weight loss occurs, adjusting the band becomes necessary. The gastric band is adjusted by injecting saline solution through ports (doorways) located just below the skin at various positions but always hooked on to the muscle wall in and around the diaphragm.

About 4-12cc of saline solution is injected on to it. The lap band is inflated and it further pressurizes and constricts the passage from the pouch to the lower stomach. A few visits to the physician are needed to get the optimal constriction around the stomach.

What are the Benefits of using a Gastric Band?

  • The equipment is removable. The stomach size can be restored once the band is removed.
  • The equipment is adjustable without any surgery.
  • Less complications and lower mortality rate like 1 in about 2000.
  • Short hospitalization and faster recovery.
  • No intervening surgery like cutting or stapling of the stomach is needed.
  • Malabsorption of nutrients is not faced with as intestines are not involved.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *