What is a Gastric Band?
Undoubtedly, you have heard plenty of news reports on weight-loss surgery and many of them center on the gastric band. A gastric band is just one of several bariatric procedures available to those who are suffering from obesity. The band comes in two forms/brands: the Lap-Band® made by Allergan and the Realize® Band made by Ethicon-Endo Surgery, a division of Johnson & Johnson.
The band has become a very popular alternative to stapled weight loss surgeries including gastric bypass, mostly because it is fully adjustable and reversible and does not require any cutting or re-routing of the stomach or small intestine. And just as it has its benefits, so too does it come with considerations including slower and lower weight loss potential.
The gastric band is placed around the top of the stomach and tightened to form two stomach chambers. The upper chamber is much smaller, becoming the primary receptacle for the food that the patient eats. Once the food passes through the small opening formed by the band, it is digested as normal. The entire procedure is performed in a minimally invasive manner, which means that the large single incisions of years past are no longer needed. Rather, five small incisions are made in the abdomen to access the surgical field.
After surgery, banding patients will visit their surgeon on a regular basis to adjust the tightness of the band in order to help them lose more or less weight. Adjustments will continue for up to two years after surgery or until a good level has been established.
For all of the benefits that the gastric band offers, not least of which is disease improvement and resolution, it also comes with various risks, including the inherent risk of any surgical procedure such as infection. There are also risks specific to abdominal surgery and the gastric band such as slippage or erosion of the band, which may require additional surgery to correct.
Learning more about the gastric band is easy – you can navigate through our website and you can attend a free weight loss surgery seminar at one of two locations in Northern New Jersey.Back To All Posts