How it works to help you lose weight
Gastric banding is a procedure that limits the amount of food you can eat at one time. During this procedure, the gastric band is placed around the stomach, dividing it into 2 parts: a small upper pouch and a lower stomach. The upper pouch holds about 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of food. This helps a person feel full sooner and for longer than usual.

  • The level of the food passage restriction can be adjusted by adding to or removing saline solution from the band through a port that is subcutaneously placed.

The procedure
The gastric band is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach to create a small upper pouch and a lower stomach. A thin, flexible tubing connects the band and the port. The port is fastened in the abdomen about 2 inches below the rib cage on the left or right side. The goal is to lose weight at a healthy rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week.


  • Limits the amount of food that can be eaten at a meal.

  • The surgery can be reversed.

  • No part of the stomach or digestive system is stapled, cut or removed; food passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be fully absorbed into the body.

  • In a clinical trial, some patients lost an average of 38% of excess weight at 1 year and nearly 43% at 3 years.

  • Shown to help resolve other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes (59%), obstructive sleep apnea (45%), and high cholesterol (71%).


  • Gastric perforation or tearing in the stomach wall may require an additional operation.

  • Access port leakage or twisting may require an additional operation.

  • May not provide the necessary feeling of satisfaction that one has had enough to eat.

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Outlet obstruction

  • Pouch dilatation

  • Band migration/slippage

Why the band is adjustable
Over time, your surgeon adjusts the tightness of the band to help you continually meet your weight loss goals. During an adjustment, saline (a safe fluid) is delivered through the port into the band balloon, making the band fit more snugly around your stomach. Saline can also be removed from the band. After an adjustment, you’ll feel full sooner, stay satisfied longer and maintain gradual weight loss. Band adjustments take place at your surgeon’s office, clinic, or hospital. Your first adjustment will probably be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery.


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