Learn about the Gastric Band

The gastric band – sometimes called Lap Band – procedure involves a flexible ring being placed around the upper portion of the stomach. This ring creates a small pouch that leads to food being digested more slowly. The band is flexible, and patients regularly have it “filled” or unfilled, to reach the optimal level of hunger control. Using the gastric band as a tool, patients eat smaller meals and often feel full for longer periods of time. There is no cutting of the stomach during this procedure.

The gastric band procedure is generally done laparoscopically. This means our surgeon uses several very small incisions to perform the operation. The band is inserted, and fastened around the upper stomach. At the same time, the surgeon puts a “port” just under the skin. This port is attached to the band, so fluid and can added or taken out through the port. These adjustments are why the procedure is often called “adjustable gastric band”.
The gastric band helps patients lose weight because the smaller stomach pouch slows digestion. The small pouch also requires that you eat a small meal, and chew your food very throughly. The band is a tool that will help you lose weight, as long as you follow a program of eating small, healthy meals and making appropriate lifestyles changse. Often patients stay full for longer between meals, and get less hungry.
Gastric band is the most minimally invasive bariatric procedure we perform, and often has the quickest recovery. Generally our gastric band patients stay in the hospital for 1 night. You may stay longer depending on how healing is going. Depending on how physical your job is, some patients go back to work within a week and some take longer.
For weeks after your surgery, you will be on a liquid diet while your stomach heals. You’ll then start introducing soft, pureed foods with the guidance of our team. As your body recovers and you adjust to eating again, we’ll work with you to start eating solid foods again. It is extremely important that you chew every bite of food well, and take pauses between each bite so food doesn’t get stuck in the band. You’ll want to focus on small portions, and making sure to get all the protein and other nutrients you need. We will help you every step of the way, so you know what to eat to best succeed with your weight loss tool.

Am I a Candidate?

  • Generally the gastric band is performed on patients with a BMI greater than 40.
  • Patients with a BMI over 30 with at least one health condition related to their weight may qualify.
  • The band is a good option for patients who are committed to regular follow-up visits, and focusing on lifestyle change.
  • Every person is different, so if you’re interested in learning more about whether the gastric band or another procedure may be a good option for you, please contact us. We are happy to speak with you.

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