Gastric banding is the least invasive type of bariatric surgery. It involves placing a small, adjustable silicone band at the upper end of the stomach, which creates a small pouch. It doesn’t interfere with the normal digestive process.
Injecting saline (sterile salt water) fills the band and makes it tighter (or saline can be removed to loosen it). In this way, the band can be adjusted as needed to reduce side effects and control the rate of weight loss.
Weight loss occurs by restricting the amount of food you can consume at one time. You can expect to lose 40% to 45% of your excess weight in the two years after surgery.
Are the band adjustments difficult or painful?
Generally no. The band adjustments can usually be easily performed in clinic and are similar to having your blood drawn.
Can I have the band removed and changed to something else if it doesn’t work?
Generally yes. The band can be removed and converted to a sleeve gastrectomy
or gastric bypass
. Our bariatric surgeons have significant experience with both of these procedures.
Can I have the band removed once I lose enough weight?
No, the band needs to be tightened to work. Even removing the fluid in the band will generally result in significant weight regain that can occur quickly. The band is meant to remain in place and be tightened for optimum results.
Can I still have an MRI with a gastric band in place?
Yes, the materials in the band are designed to not affect an MRI, according to the band manufacturer.