The Gastric Band

The banding procedure involves placing an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach. The band is filled by adding saline fluid through a port that lies under the skin of the abdomen. These anatomical changes function to provide a sensation of fullness after a very small meal and reduce hunger between meals.

While not common, excessive vomiting can result in band patients if they eat too quickly, take large bites of food, drink fluids with their meals/snacks, eat dry, tough, or sticky foods, or have their band adjusted to where it is too tight. If these things are not done then excessive vomiting should not be an issue in the band patient.

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  • A band is placed around the top of the stomach to create a small pouch that limits food intake.
  • A small port is affixed inside the body that allows the band to be adjusted to make the pouch smaller or bigger.
  • Internal incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and external incisions can be closed with sutures, steri-strips, or staples.
  • Patients have office visits to receive fluid adjustments through their port.

Surgery takes about an hour and a half and patients have a similar recovery to the other procedures. The dietary progression is the same. Food enters the pouch and is slowed by the restrictive band.

The ideal patient for a band is a patient who is comfortable with needles and determined to make lifestyle changes. We know that patients will typically lose less weight than the other surgical options.

*Results will vary between patients

Band Advantages

  • Lower short-term mortality rate than gastric bypass
  • No stomach stapling or cutting, or intestinal rerouting
  • Adjustable and reversible
  • Lower operative complication rate than other bariatric procedures

Band Recovery

  • Hospital stay is often same day or less than 24 hours
  • Many patients return to normal activity within 1 to 2 weeks
  • Heavy lifting is restricted for roughly 4 weeks
 

Band Disadvantages

  • Slower and less reliable weight loss
  • Regular follow-up critical for optimal results
  • Requires an implanted medical device
  • In some cases, effectiveness may be reduced due to slippage of the band
  • High instance of removal and revisional procedures

Band Risks

  • Standard surgical risks
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Band slippage
  • Band erosion
2016, Bariatric Specialists of North Carolina, a part of the EmergeOrtho network
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