Gastric Bands Procedure for Weight Loss

If you and your doctor feel that weight loss surgery is ideal, gastric bands may be the best option. Here, the surgeon uses laparoscopy (small cuts in the belly) to fix a flexible band on the upper part of the stomach. Once a small pocket is created, inflatable tubing is attached to the abdominal wall. In the consultations that follow, the surgeon will adjust the band to limit the intake of food, and that will quicken the weight loss process. The amount of food that can then be held in the stomach is reduced without the need to permanently remove parts of the digestive system.

Gastric Banding Results

This procedure contributes to a weight loss rate of up to 45 percent. For instance, someone who weighs 100 pounds can expect to lose 45 pounds. Compared to other bariatric surgeries, gastric banding is considered to be the least invasive and safest weight loss procedure. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, banding does not interfere with food absorption. When necessary, this procedure can be reversed, and the stomach can get to its original size.

The Pros

Gastric banding has been reported to have the lowest rate of complications. It also has very low risks of malnutrition and gallstones. After the operation, the patient is expected to stay in the hospital for less than 24 hours, and there are high chances of getting back to normal activity within a week. When completed successfully, the procedure can prevent ailments such as sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension, gout, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance, gallbladder disease and dyslipidaemia.

The Cons

As with all other major surgeries, gastric bands also come with their share of risks. The most common problem after the surgery is nausea and vomiting, which can be reduced by adjusting the tightness of the band. While complications will not be experienced after the surgery, it is important that you understand the potential risks linked to it. First, the device takes a longer period to give weight loss results, unlike most other surgical procedures. It also requires one to hold a foreign object within the body, and this can lead to discomfort for some patients. To guarantee successful results, patients are required to adhere to a certain diet, failure to which mechanical problems with the tube could be suffered. A small percentage of patients also experience band slippage or erosion in the stomach.

It is critical to understand that a majority of complications happen when patients fail to comply with the guidelines of the physician. Gastric banding has passed through rigorous post-approval safety studies and is medically approved.