The gastric band is usually for patients with a BMI of less than 45.
An inflatable band is placed around the stomach to divide it into two parts. This creates a smaller pouch at the top, taking in less food to make you feel full. The food then passes slowly through the opening into the lower part of your stomach and continues on as normal. The gastric band can be inflated with saline solution to reduce the size of the opening into the lower part of the stomach. This will further restrict the amount of food you can eat, making you feel fuller for longer.
Adjustments to the gastric band are made by injecting fluid through a very small tube, which has a special button-like reservoir just under your skin. It can be inflated and deflated in this way, until the right level of restriction is achieved. It takes several adjustments to find the right level of restriction, the exact number being tailored to each individual patient. These will be done at hospital, and the first one is usually six weeks after gastric banding.
A gastric band can be expected to produce an average loss of 50% of the excess weight within 2 years (BMJ Obesity surgery, Gastric banding, Jan 2006). A robust follow up programme is essential for patients to lose weight healthily.
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