What is a Gastric Band?
A gastric band is a silicone device placed around the upper part of the stomach. It is a tool used to help reduce the amount of food that you are able to eat and to reduce hunger and appetite. This will help with weight loss.
How does it work?
Once the Gastric Band is placed, a saline solution (salt water) is then injected into the port to inflate the band, causing restriction. Generally an uninflated band has an opening the size of a 20-cent coin. An inflated band has an opening the size of a 5-cent coin.
The Gastric Band creates a ‘funnel’ or a holding area above the band, which reduces the size of your upper stomach. It slows down food entering the larger bottom portion of the stomach and the food then exerts pressure on the stomach wall.
The exerted pressure causes the nerves in your stomach wall to send signals to the satiety centre of your brain to say that you’ve eaten enough.
The gastric band can be adjusted to vary the amount of pressure it exerts onto the stomach by having the saline solution injected or removed from its access port (stitched to your abdominal muscle under the skin).
How do you know when you have enough fluid in the band?
We would expect you have the right amount of fluid in your band once you are able to tolerate foods that are soft or solid, can appreciate fullness and feel satisfied when having portions that are approximately 1 cupful. However if you are having any of the following problems, your band may need to be altered.
- Always hungry and looking for food
- Eating big meals
- Managing solid foods without any problems
- Not losing weight
Answer – Your band is too loose
- You will need more fluid added to your band.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Experiencing frequent reflux
- Night coughs
- Finding yourself drinking with meals to make it easier to eat
Solution – Your band is too tight
- Your band is too tight. You will need some fluid taken out of the band.
The gastric band is only a tool to help reduce the amount of food that you eat and to help you feel full longer. It is not a self-acting weight loss device. For successful long-term weight management, you will need to address and change your eating, exercise and lifestyle habits to continue to lose weight and avoid plateauing or weight regain.
How much weight will I lose?
On average, weight loss with the gastric band is around 50% of excess weight.
Risks of Surgery
The gastric band is the safest of all weight loss procedures with serious complications being less than 0.5%.
- Limits the amount of food that is eaten at a meal
- Requires adjustment by using a needle to fill the band with saline. Once the optimal band fill volume is achieved no further adjustments are necessary
Please understand that the information that is provided on this website is to serve as a guide only. This does, by no means, negate or alter the need for a full individual consultation and medical assessment.