Adjustable Gastric Banding
Adjustable gastric banding or stomach band involves wrapping a silicone ring or band around upper part of stomach. This silicone ring contains a small balloon (similar to bicycle tyre and tube within it) which is tightened around the stomach gradually and adequately with the help of saline solution, this saline solution is filled into the balloon through a small port placed under your skin just beneath the rib cage.
How stomach band works
The band divides the stomach into two parts, the upper part being much smaller with a capacity of less than 20 ml. As a result, patient’s storage capacity is very limited. After consuming a little amount of food, patient will have a sense of fullness or satiety. The amount of saline present in the balloon is adjusted frequently to ensure sufficient weight loss and at the same time avoiding malnutrition.
Positives of adjustable gastric banding
- The adjustable gastric banding is a simple procedure with less short term complications.
- The overall cost of the procedure is less as compared to other procedures.
- The band is adjustable and it is relatively easy to reverse the procedure.
- The recovery from lap band bariatric surgery can be much quicker than other bariatric procedures. Many patients are back to work in a week or sooner.
- Patients don’t require any nutritional supplements as it might be in other weight loss surgeries.
- The results of this procedure in terms of weight loss and resolution of comorbidities are:
- Weight loss is approximately 40% of excess body weight.
- Type 2 diabetes resolution is 20% to 40%.
- High blood pressure resolution is seen in 40% of patients.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is resolved in 45% of patients.
How long will be the hospital stay?
It is a relatively easy surgery to perform and the patients are usually discharged either on the same day or the next day of surgery.
How big will be the scars?
The procedure is carried out through laparoscopic method and involves making four small cuts ranging from 5 mm to 10 mm long in the upper abdomen just below the ribs.
How does the patient feel following surgery?
You will be quite comfortable the next morning. However, mild pain may be present in the area where the port or inflation valve is placed, below the margin of the left rib cage. This is normal and is usually well controlled with painkillers.
What advise the patient follows to ensure long term weight loss?
Gastric band requires much more motivation and self-control to ensure long term significant weight loss. It is purely a restrictive procedure with no hormonal changes, therefore diet, modification of life style and regular exercise are necessary for success of this procedure.
After how many days of surgery can patient go back to work?
Patients can usually join their job within a weeks’ time.
After how many days of surgery patient can exercise?
We encourage the patients to walk around within hours of surgery. The patients are advised to increase their activity levels on a daily basis including longer and longer walks. Moderate exercise at gym can be introduced after a week and aerobics, swimming, cycling can be started after 3 weeks’ time.
What are the disadvantages of adjustable gastric banding?
- Weight loss is less as compared to other procedures and it is much more unpredictable.
- More follow-up visits are required to adjust the balloon appropriately from time to time.
- More minor and annoying complications
- Much higher rate of re-operation and long-term complications
- Almost no hormonal changes occur in body as seen in other obesity surgeries so resolution of co-morbidities is quite less.