Adjustable Gastric Band
An inflatable band brings satisfaction and fullness with small amounts of food.
An adjustable gastric band (AGB), also called a lap-band or gastric banding, is an inflatable band which is positioned around the top of the stomach. By restricting the food stream, it generates sense of satiety and fullness with small volumes of food. Weight loss occurs as a result of consuming much lower quantity of food than before. No intestinal bypass is involved in the procedure.
How It Works
Through a simple laparoscopic procedure an adjustable band is placed around the top of the stomach. This makes a tiny pouch (less than 5-10 ml or less than one third of an ounce). The band is further inflated through a port underneath the skin till the desired or ideal restriction level is achieved.
Subsequently, the band starts causing a resistance in the food stream forcing the food to pass through the narrowed path. The resistance translates into contentment with a much smaller portions of food as compared to before and induces hunger control. The initial band can be incrementally adjusted till the ideal restriction level, the “sweet spot” is achieved.
- Weight loss is easy, quick and predictable, mainly achieved by the reduced amount of food that is consumed. With this operation there is no intestinal bypass or malabsorption. Patients can lose upto 60-80% of excess weight.
- No risk of “dumping” syndrome triggering nausea, cramping, diarrhea, sweat, vomits and palpitations. This syndrome generally follows when a patient consumes carbs or sugar or eats too quickly.
- Major co-morbidities like diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, high cholesterol and depression are either resolved or show substantial improvement.
- As the band may call for regular adjustments, till the ideal level is achieved, this procedure may require an intensive follow-up.
When is an Adjustable Gastric Band most recommended
This procedure is recommended for patients who are:
- Enormous eaters
- Struggling to resist food and lose weight without success
- Young /adolescent (as the procedure is reversible)
- Keen to lose 40 – 50% of their excess weight within 18 months
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Once placed inside, the band cannot be felt, hence it creates no feeling of an alien body inside or any other discomfort. In rare cases, patients may get slight cramping, nausea and vomiting during the first 2-3 days. Post that there is no discomfort or any long term complications. In a very exceptional case, the band may slip over or erode in the stomach leading to removal of the band.
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Your weight loss will determine how many times the band will need readjustment. First tightening is normally done after 6 weeks of surgery and subsequent adjustments are done gradually after that. The procedure required close monitoring and follow ups.
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A High protein and fiber diet is recommended, while keeping carbs and fat content low. High carb and fatty foods include bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cheese, butter, fried foods, deserts etc. or any food with high starch content. All junk foods including high calorie liquids like aerated drinks, alcohol, wines etc. should be avoided. This should be further combined with an exercise regime to achieve and maintain steady weight loss.
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Approximately 50 – 60% of your excess body weight can be lost over one and a half years. The success rate will also depend on the diet habits and exercise regime post surgery. Weight loss with the adjustable gastric band is slower compared to other bariatric surgeries like Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Bypass etc.
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There are high chances that you resume your eating habits as they were before the surgery and gain back the lost weight.
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The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, so you don’t feel any pain or anxiety. There could be slight discomfort lasting 3-4 days of surgery which this can be easily subdued with painkillers.