The Adjustable Gastric Band and You
A laparoscopic (or keyhole) adjustable gastric band (sometimes referred to as a lap band) is an inflatable silicone device placed around the top portion of your stomach. It treats obesity by reducing the amount of food that you can eat.
Gastric banding is the least-invasive bariatric surgery available. Gastric banding is performed using laparoscopic or keyhole surgery, and because of that, it usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.
Unlike gastric bypass surgery, no part of your stomach is stapled or removed with the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, and your intestines are not rerouted. This means that you can continue to absorb nutrients from food normally. Gastric bands are made entirely of biocompatible materials, so they are able to stay in your body without causing you any harm.
That all sounds good, right? But what does it really mean for you? How does this translate into something that you can integrate into your daily life?
The placement of the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band creates a small pouch at the top of your stomach; it holds approximately ½ cup of food. To get a sense of what this really means, remember that before the laparoscopic insertion of your adjustable gastric band, your stomach held about six cups of food! The pouch fills quickly with food, and the band slows the passage of food from the pouch to the lower part of your stomach.
Why is the speed important? Because when the upper part of your stomach starts feeling full, the message is sent to your brain that your entire stomach is full, and this sensation helps you feel hungry less frequently, feel full more quickly and for a longer period of time, eat smaller portions – and, over time, lose your excess weight!