Gastric Banding is a procedure that is performed laparoscopically. The principle of the procedure is very simple. The surgery involves the implantation of an adjustable soft band around the top of the stomach. This band is connected to a small tube and reservoir that allows the surgeon or an apropriately trained associate to add or remove fluid, to make it tighter or looser.

The placement of the band creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach, about the size of a golf ball. This pouch holds approximately 1/2 cup of food, whereas the typical stomach holds about 6 cups of food. This in essence creates a very restricting effect, reducing the volumes of foodstuff that can be tolerated as well as retaining food in the stomach for longer. This helps to provide a feeling of fullness more quickly and for a longer period of time, making you feel satisfied with much less food. It should also decrease your appetite between meals, although this will vary between individuals.

After placement of the gastric band, you will require additions of fluid to the band or adjustments to ensure its effectiveness. The first fill generally occurs 3 weeks following your operation. This is done by introducing a saline solution into the access port under the skin. When the band is inlfated it places pressure around the outside of the stomach which restricts the movement of food. The band can be adjusted (filled or emptied, inflated or deflated) to control hunger. The optimal restriction for you may take several visits to the clinic. The goal is to have the band adjusted so that you achieve sufficient restriction with minimal complications.


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