Gastric banding is a restrictive intervention that reduces forced food intake. While eating, the patient has a sense of satiety, sometimes accompanied by discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen. A lower intake of food leads to weight loss. It requires the cooperation of the patient in following the diet as instructed.
How does the adjustable gastric band work?
Gastric banding involves the use of an inflatable, silicone ring that is placed in such a manner as to surround the upper part of the stomach. The ring is connected to the abdominal wall by means of a small tube with a tank: this allows inflating or deflating the bandage.
What are the advantages of adjustable gastric banding?
The gastric banding is a less invasive surgery used to treat obesity. The surgical risk is therefore inferior to the other methods but so is the result.
Is the adjustable gastric band painful or dangerous?
Among the different methods, gastric banding is the most simple and less risky. The percentage of recurrence of obesity is quite high and in 10% of cases there are recorded complications related to the presence of the bandage as for example:
- Dilatation of the gastric pouch, with frequent episodes of vomiting. If diagnosed early can be resolved with a desufflation bandage or otherwise with a new surgery.
- Dislocation of the bandage, which typically needs a new surgery.
- The bandage can cause erosion of the wall of the stomach and may even penetrate it. This event requires the removal of the bandage.
- Infection of the tank: treated with conservative medical therapy or with the replacement or removal of the tank. If the infection has also affected the bandage, you may need to remove it.
- Rupture of the tube that connects the tank and bandage that may require reoperation, usually conducted under local anaesthesia.
- May experience episodes of gastro-oesophageal reflux up to the actual reflux disease. In the first instance it is treated with medical therapy and desufflation bandage. If this is not sufficient, remove the bandage.
Which patients can undergo adjustable gastric banding?
Gastric banding is indicated for patients with a degree of early obesity, preferably young and highly motivated to embark on a path of intensive follow-up.
For best results periodic medical checks are necessary, to optimally calibrate the bandage and be able to reach a satisfactory weight loss.
Adjustable gastric banding does not require any special preparations, only preparations common to all bariatric procedures.