Gastric band is an operation for weight loss. It places a band around the stomach to create a small pouch in the upper part of the stomach. The patient feels full after eating small amounts therefore consumed food is decreased directly.
After the surgery, the band can be adjusted to make the food digestion in the stomach slower or faster. For this reason, it is also called adjustable gastric banding. When the band is filled with liquid, it becomes narrower, so the passage of food becomes slower.
How is Gastric Band Performed?
The gastric band is usually placed laparoscopically under general anesthesia.
- The procedure is performed with 4 port incisions with a diameter of 0.5-1 cm.
- To divide the stomach into 2 separate sections, a band is placed from the outer surface on the upper part of the stomach, wrapping around the stomach. A 20-30 cc pouch is created in the upper part of the stomach.
- During the operation there is not any stitching or cutting.
- Whole procedure takes nearly 60 minutes in total.
The adjustable band divides the stomach into two sections. The upper section is pretty small. (20-30 ml). When the food is consumed, it is collected in the upper section. Once the upper part is full, the food slowly goes down to the lower section, meanwhile the person feels full. The transition of food happens according to the adjusted band. Usually it is better to have a slow food transition from the upper section to the lower one. Patient needs to chew well and eat slowly otherwise there vomiting can happen.
Who are the candidates for Adjustable Gastric Band?
Gastric Band can be another option for those who suffer from obesity for 5 years or more and who cannot lose weight through diet and exercise. It is recommended for those who have BMI 35-50%. It is not recommended for Morbidly Obeses (BMI 50%+).
Laparoscopical Gastric Band is not an instant solution for obesity, patient needs to change his/her lifestyle. There has to be diet and exercise after the operation – otherwise it may not be successful.
What are the side effects of Gastric Band?
- Gastric band may move up & down.
- Gastritis or ulcer may occur.
- Gastric Band may wear down the stomach surface. (Gastric band needs to be removed in this case.)
- Port infection may occur. If antibiotic is not sufficient, band to be removed.
- During the operation stomach or intestines can be damaged.
- Surgeon needs to insert into the port in order to inflate the bandage. If there is any complication with the insertion, a small surgery may be necessary.
- Insertion port may turn inside out. In this case inflating the band is impossible.
- If the band is too inflated, patient can vomit.
What are the benefits of Gastric Band?
Gastrictomy is not as effective as Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrictomy. The majority of patients lose 50-60% of their excess weight in the first year after surgery. 60% of the problems such as hypertension, diabetes, neuromuscular joint problems, cholesterol and sleep apnea due to obesity are recovered after surgery or disappear completely.
When sufficient weight is lost after the operation, the following diseases that occur as a result of obesity may show us a significant improvement or a complete recovery.
- High Colesterol
- Sleep Apnea
- Osteoarthiritis in Junctions
- Diabetes Type II
Obesity surgery is not the only solution for weight loss. With less eating, calorie intake decreases, and calorie deficiency should be increased with exercise.
The most important disadvantage of the gastric band compared to other techniques is that it is an external material inside the body. Due to complications related to the band and port, 25% of patients have to have the stomach band removed in the first 5 years of the operation. This is a high failure rate. For the majority of these patients, a second attempt of obesity surgery may be required.