Adjustable gastric banding can provide a safe and effective way to lose weight gradually—without cutting or stapling your stomach. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding has been performed worldwide for more than 15 years, with a continuous evolution of surgical technique and the device itself.

In February 2011, the LAP-BAND® System was approved by the FDA for obese individuals with a BMI (Body Mass Index) as low as 30, who have one or more related comorbid conditions and who have failed more conservative weight-loss methods such as diet and exercise and pharmacotherapy, making it an option for those with 50 to 70 pounds of excess weight. This procedure is typically performed laparoscopically, and most patients can go home on the same day or the day after their surgery.

Adjustable gastric banding is a restrictive procedure. A silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach and molds the stomach into two connected chambers. An injection port is attached to the abdominal wall, under the skin. The port is connected to the band with soft, thin tubing. The band is adjusted by your healthcare professional using a needle to inject saline solution into your band through the port. Adding saline increases the amount of band restriction, helping the patient feel fuller sooner with less food. This operation is usually an outpatient procedure and patients are typically back to work within several days.

Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery Results

Adjustable gastric banding is an excellent tool to help patients lose weight and keep it off long-term. Most patients lose 45 to 55% of their excess body weight. To achieve maximum success, patients should follow the specific diet and exercise guidelines that are recommended by your surgeon. Gastric banding requires that the patient continues to follow-up with their surgeon to access adjustment needs based on the patient’s hunger and desired long-term weight loss.

There can be additional health and quality of life benefits to having adjustable gastric banding surgery:

  • The band supports pregnancy by allowing for increased nutritional needs.
  • While it is intended to be a long-term treatment, the band can be removed at any time, in some cases laparoscopically.
  • Studies found that gastric banding resolved type 2 diabetes in 47.8 percent of patients, resolved high blood pressure in 38.4% of patients, and improved high cholesterol in 78.3% of patients.*
  • It also improves the overall quality of life, physical functioning, and social and economic opportunities.

*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA 2004;292(14):1724-37.

Potential Gastric Band Patient Concerns

  • Gastric banding can help you feel satisfied sooner and with less food, but it won’t eliminate the desire to eat. You will need to follow your specific diet and exercise guidelines provided by your surgeon to achieve success.
  • Gastric banding requires more intensive follow-up care than most other bariatric surgeries. This is mostly because the band is adjustable. Keep in mind that even after reaching and maintaining your success weight, you may still need to see your healthcare professional for further adjustments.