An Adjustable Gastric Band is a laparoscopic (keyhole) restrictive surgical procedure that reduces the stomach capacity via an adjustable band around the stomach.
How does it Work
The gastric band is placed near the top oof the creating a small pouch. The stomach volume is reduced (150-200mL) that enables only small amounts of food to be eaten, before satiety (feeling of being full) occurs, stopping the desire to eat further. The band is inflated with fluid to adjust the volume of food able to be eaten.
Typically patients will lose weight with the the majority losing 30-50% of their excess weight over 2 years. The weight loss is slow but steady. Weight loss does differ between people.
Typical hospitalization is one night, but regular band adjustments will be required after placement.
All operations have risks, general and specific, this list is not comprehensive but includes the most commonly seen ones.
General risks include :
This is uncommon and is treated at the time of surgery. It typically occurs at the new staple line and only very rarely requires a blood transfusion
Uncommon, but occasional occurs at the incision sites and may require a course of oral antibiotics
Is typically minimal and simple oral analgesia is required but sometimes stronger pain killers are required.
• Damage to surrounding organs
This is unlikely especially at laparoscopic procedures but damage to the spleen or bowel can occur and this is typically repaired at the time of surgery
• Blood clots (Leg or Lung)
This is rare, and preventative measures such as stockings, and intra-operative calf compression devices are performed routinely. In addition all patients receive blood thinning injections to reduce the risk of clots forming.
Specific Risks :
• Band slippage
The gastric band can slip down the stomach in 4% of patients requiring the band to be removed.
• Band erosion
Very rarely (0.5-1%) the band can erode through the stomach wall. This is slow process but does require the band to be removed
• Gastric Pouch dilation
Overtime if small meal volumes are not adhered too some patients can stretch the stomach so they can eat larger volumes of food. This results in weight regain, with the only intervention being further surgery.
• Gastro-oesophageal reflux
If the band is too tight then gastric acid and food can accumulate above the it, which can then reflux into the oesophagus, causing heart burn.