Gastric Banding is a surgical procedure, also known as adjustable gastric lap band, which refers to an adjustable band that is placed around the top part of the stomach. The band can be adjusted by adding or removing a saline solution that either tightens or loosens the band.
The procedure dramatically reduces the capacity of the stomach to hold food and the passage of food through the stomach is ultimately slowed down. This reduces feelings of hunger so you achieve fullness faster, typically after eating less. It is known as ‘lap band’ because it is performed using a technique called laparoscopic, or “key-hole” surgery. What makes this procedure special is the fact that it is an adjustable and reversible gastric bypass.
Requirements for gastric banding surgery are the same as for any other weight loss surgery. If your BMI is between 35 and 39, then you must also have associated severe medical problems in order to be a candidate for gastric banding. These conditions usually include diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol.
If your BMI is greater than 40, it is not required to have associated medical problems.
The procedure is performed under general anesthetic using a laparoscope, or viewing tube, permitting the surgeon to operate without making a large incision. During the operation, a hollow adjustable band is fitted to the top part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. The pouch will limit the amount of food you can eat and the band restricts the passage of food through the stomach opening. The band can be later tightened by adding a saline solution into the band. The surgeon will also create an access point, or port, under the skin that will allow the band to be adjusted by adding or removing the amount of liquid in the band.
Typically patients spend one night in the hospital for recovery. It is imperative to allow yourself some time to adjust after lap band surgery. Most individuals can return to work in one week and resume all or most normal activities in about 6 weeks.
Average Duration of Gastric Banding: The band is usually fitted in 30 to 45 minutes and the total time in surgery is about one hour.