Adjustable gastric band
The gastric band has faded in popularity over the last 10 years due to reduced weight loss outcomes in comparison to other procedures. This has led to increasing rates of removal as a result. This does not mean that if you have a gastric band in place it can’t continue to be successful. It doesn’t need to be removed if it is functioning well which it can do for many years. ABC knows how to optimise and manage gastric bands from many years of experience. We also know how to safely remove them laparoscopically if that is needed.
The adjustable gastric band is made of soft silicone and is equipped with a firmly attached inflatable balloon. This balloon is connected by a tube to an access port. The band is positioned around the upper part of the stomach (almost always by “keyhole” or laparoscopic surgery) so as to create a small pouch. This small pouch lies above the band and has a capacity of 15 to 20 ml. The remaining stomach lies below the band.
Adjustable gastric band surgery is almost always done through the laparoscopic approach. Five small incisions are made in the abdomen to introduce a camera and instruments and the adjustable gastric band is positioned at the upper end of the stomach.
Once the band is placed in position, the connecting tube and access port are inserted and secured to the upper abdominal wall. All incisions are closed with absorbable sututres which do not need to be removed.
How does it work?
Adjustable gastric banding induces weight loss through 2 mechanisms:
1. By restricting the amount of food that the stomach can hold at any time by inducing an early feeling of satiety.
2. By slowing down the emptying of the pouch, thereby decreasing food intake.
The size of the pouch outlet is adjusted by regulating the volume of fluid in the balloon through the access port. The access port is situated under the skin usually in the upper abdomen and is easily accessible by your doctor with a noncoring needle.
What is achieved from the operation?
The weight will be lost gradually but will commence immediately after surgery. The amount of weight loss will depend partly on the amount of fluid injected into the balloon to provide a feeling of satiety. The amount of weight loss in the long term will depend on the patient ie on how carefully the patient follows the recommendations regarding eating habits, diet and exercise. The rate of weight loss we like to see is 0.5 to 1.0 kg per week. On average it is expected that 50 to 60% of excess weight will be lost in the long term.
This also means a long term commitment to follow up with Adelaide Bariatric Centre as data clearly shows the importance of follow up for successful weight loss with the adjustable gastric band. At ABC there is a team dedicated to your goal of weight reduction and to the management of any complications that may arise from the gastric band.