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Gastric banding

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Gastric banding is a weight management technique especially for obesity that allows placement of a band or belt in the stomach with laparoscopy. Gastric banding is also known as lap band technique.


Who can undergo gastric banding?

  • People with BMI more than 40 and are unable to lose weight with diet and exercise.
  • People with BMI between 35-40 along with other health complication like hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes etc. which are potentially interfering with weight loss


How gastric banding is performed?

A silicone band is introduced inside the stomach with the help of laparoscopy as it involves minimal invasions on the skin. The band divides the stomach into a smaller upper pouch and bigger lower pouch. The smaller stomach can hold about one ounce of food, thereby restricting daily consumption of food.

Another interesting aspect of lap band is its adjustable mode. The band is connected to a reservoir which is also placed during the surgery. There’s an opening between the two sections of the stomach through which food can pass. The size of the outlet can be adjusted if required later by drawing saline solution from the reservoir.

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 How weight loss is achieved with gastric banding?

Your doctor will present you an entirely new lifestyle for managing your weight. After wearing this band your appetite is reduced as digestion is slowed down and quite naturally you eat less! Thus, you lose weight.


How to prepare for gastric band

Your doctor will consider certain parameters regarding your health before performing the surgery and they are:

  • Age
  • General health check up: You should let your doctor know if you have medical history of heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes, asthma, allergy, etc. or have undergone any surgery before.
  • Blood tests and ultrasound will be performed to evaluate your health status
  • Your fitness level, ability to exercise and lifestyle will be taken into account
  • You will be offered nutritional counseling
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any medicines, drugs and supplements

You will be asked to stop smoking several weeks prior to the scheduled date of surgery

Do not eat or drink anything post midnight the day before sugery


What happens during gastric band surgery?

Gastric banding is performed under general anesthesia and therefore, you won’t sense pain. The operation takes about 30-60 minutes for completion.


What to expect after the surgery?

You will be given liquid diet for a week and gradually introduced to soft foods and then normal diet subsequently. You can resume work in a week but complete recovery might take about 4-6 weeks.

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of lap band which can be minimized by re adjusting the band.

In most cases the patient is retained in the hospital for a night until his/her body is stabilized.


What are the benefits of gastric band?

  • It is the most minimal invasive weight management tool and you don’t need to stay in the hospital for a long time for recovery
  • The average weight loss is significantly good. About 50% of extra body weight can be shed within a certain time span
  • The lap band does not interfere with absorption of vital nutrients like proteins and vitamins in the intestine
  • With weight loss and lifestyle changes, other complications like high BP, diabetes, etc. are also sorted
  • The band can be removed and adjusted very easily by your surgeon without any complications


 Risks associated with gastric banding

Chances of gastric banding going wrong are very negligible. Nonetheless, there’s a small chance of the band slipping off from its original site and blockage of food flow through the band.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: November 03, 2014

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