Gastric banding is a non-stapling restrictive weight loss procedure in which a lap band is placed around the outside of the upper stomach, creating a small pouch and a narrow passage into the rest of the stomach. Tightening or loosening the band controls the rate that food travels from the upper to the lower stomach. Patients are satisfied by smaller meals that fill the small upper pouch.

Is the gastric band right for you?

To ensure that you can lose weight safely with the gastric banding procedure you must meet certain criteria.

  • Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is at least 40 kg/m² or you have a BMI of at least 30 kg/m² with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions
  • You are at least 18-years old
  • A history* of unsuccessful weight loss attempts
  • Not currently suffering from any other disease that may have caused your excess weight
  • You are prepared to make major changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess
  • You are not currently pregnant (patients who become pregnant after their gastric band placement may require adjustments or removal)

*Check with your insurance company for more information about its requirement for history of weight loss attempts.

What happens during a gastric banding surgery

During your surgery, your surgeon will surgically implant an adjustable gastric band during a short, laparoscopic procedure. A port will be placed under your skin, which allows for adjustments to the band after surgery by adding or removing saline. The adjustments can make it tighter, to increase weight loss, or looser, to slow down weight loss. These adjustments are done with the utmost of safety and only usually only require a visit to your bariatric surgeon’s office.

After your weight loss surgery

After this restrictive procedure, you will feel satiated (full) after smaller meals. Gastric banding does have a slower initial weight loss than the gastric bypass, and regular follow-up is critical for success. Your doctor may need to make adjustments to your band depending on your results.

Advantages of gastric banding

At the Rose Center for Bariatrics, our patients lose approximately 52 percent of their excess weight in the first year, and 70 percent of their excess weight in three years.

Some advantages to gastric banding include:

  • Least invasive weight loss surgery
  • Lowest operative complication rate
  • Lowest mortality rate
  • Lowest risk of malnutrition

Possible complications and side effects

There are potential risks and complications with gastric banding surgery. Although these problems rarely occur, we want you to know the facts. After gastric banding surgery, potential risks include band slippage, erosion and deflation, port-site infection, reflux, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the esophagus, infection, nausea/vomiting and other complications generally noted with surgical procedures.

Gastric banding is not recommended for everyone. You should review your specific case with your surgeon to determine the right option for you.

Gastric banding is FDA-approved for adults only.