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Gastric Band Surgery

Laparoscopic Gastric Band Surgery, also commonly known as ‘LAP band surgery’ involves placing an adjustable gastric band around the top portion of the stomach; this decreases the size of the stomach, leaving a patient with the feeling of fullness after eating a much smaller volume of food.

What is Laparoscopic Gastric Band (LAGB) surgery?

A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band commonly called a lap-band or LAGB is an inflatable silicone device placed around the top portion of the stomach. The smaller stomach then creates a rapid feeling of ‘fullness’ or satiety when you eat, and the Band at the top of the stomach helps maintain a level of adjustable ‘restriction’ when you eat. If people rely on the feeling of restriction or fullness too much, however, they end up stretching their oesophagus and stomach, which will lead to reflux and band removal.

How does a Gastric Band work?

The LAGB is a device manufactured in many different forms, but all have a similar underlying design. The Band is a silicone ring with a balloon similar to a tyre tube running around the inside of it. This inflatable area is connected by hollow tubing to a port (a disc a little larger than a 10-cent piece) which sits under the skin of your abdomen. When fluid is put into the port, it inflates the balloon, reducing the space for food to pass into your stomach.

How the Gastric Band causes weight loss

The Band will slow you down when you eat (so it may take 20 minutes to have half a sandwich) and will suppress your appetite so you can stop eating after a small amount of food. The Band itself does not make you lose weight – meal planning and conscious portion reduction needed. The Band doesn’t force you to stop eating, and a common mistake is for people to eat even when they are no longer hungry.

When you eat, food moves slowly into the stomach and food sitting above the Band stretches some of the nerves that help reduce your hunger. The amount of stomach above the Band is about the size of a thumbnail. You will be consuming about 600-800 calories per day when losing weight and 1000-1200 calories per day when keeping your weight stable.

Gastric Band illustration

Gastric Band benefits

  • The Band is probably the safest effective procedure developed to allow long-term weight loss. Other operations, although also performed by keyhole surgery, are larger and therefore riskier.
  • The Band will cause scarring around your upper stomach but otherwise does not change the way your insides are put together.
  • The Band is easier to remove than prosthetics used in other operations. However, removal of the Band invariably leads to weight regain.
  • The hospital stay and time off work is less than for other weight reduction operations.

Gastric Band combined with an imbrication/plication of the stomach

After placing a Gastric Band, it is possible to place extra sutures in the stomach to reduce its volume from over 1.2 litres to about 350-400 cc. This is a larger and riskier operation than a normal Gastric Band, however it creates a procedure that sits halfway between Sleeve and a Band. The Band does not need to be as tight, as the stomach below it is small rather than normal-sized.

Image of a stomach surgery depicting a Gastric Band combined with imbrication of the stomach

Gastric Band drawbacks

  • The Band requires quite significant long-term compliance to achieve and maintain weight loss. This requires a degree of retraining, and if you are not able to retrain you will not lose weight. About 10-20% of people find that they are not able to use the Band effectively early on, and by 10 years 30-50% have required band removal or revision.
  • There will be some foods you will not be able to eat after the operation. These vary from person to person but typically include white bread, chicken, many red meats, and fibrous fruit and vegetables.
  • The Band is a mechanical device, and like all mechanical devices it can ‘break’. Although the majority of mechanical problems can be fixed, this does mean having another operation. If the band problem is not fixed, about 95% of people will put their weight back on.

Why does the weight return when the Band is removed?

Your weight problem is a lifelong illness. If you stop taking treatment (the Band), the illness will return. This is similar to other lifelong diseases, such as asthma or high blood pressure, in that the treatments only work while they are being taken.

Suitable candidates for a gastric band

In general, weight loss surgery is a good option for people who:

  • are very overweight
  • have medical or other problems caused by their weight
  • have tried for several years to lose weight with other methods
  • are prepared to go ahead with the follow-up after surgery.

Essentially, the risks of the surgery need to be balanced against the risks of not having surgery. As you are aware, there are many different surgical options available, and it would be silly to suggest that one solution will suit everyone. It is essential to know about the other options as well to help you make a more balanced decision. Please read the General Information booklet for further details.

Dieting first

You do need to try dieting before undergoing LAGB surgery. This is to help you get an understanding of the energy content of foods and the importance of exercise.

If you are considering a gastric band as a potential bariatric surgery and would like more information, please contact our clinic today, and one of our expert team will be happy to discuss this further with you. You should also download (below) our Gastric Banding Information document.

Gastric Band illustration

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For appointments please call us.

Free Bariatric Surgery Information Webinar

Join our free Bariatric Surgery Information Webinar and Q&A on the first Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm (Sydney time).

Robotic Surgery

Do you need more information?

If you would like to speak to one of our specialised team or enquire about making an appointment at our clinic,
please call 02 9553 1120 or submit an enquiry.

Free Bariatric Surgery Information Webinar

Join our free Bariatric Surgery Information Webinar and Q&A on the first Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm (Sydney time).

Robotic Surgery

Contact Us.

For appointments please call us.

Complimentary Inclusions In Our Bariatric Aftercare Package

(included in your clinic fee)

Siara Health program providing information regarding surgery and aftercare.

2 appointments with our Dietitian Tania Chaanine.

BSc Nutrition & Dietetics (Honours)

Enrollment to the Fresh Start Program to support you for 2 years post-operatively.

Copy of Your Complete Guide to Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery book by Sally Johnston.

1 month supply of bariatric multi vitamins – BN Multi.

Portion Perfection bariatric plate & bowl, to help you at meal times.

BMI Calculator

BMI is a useful tool for calculating whether you are a healthy weight for your height. If you enter your height and weight below our calculator will provide you with your own BMI. BMI is an effective measurement tool, however it is only one of the factors we look at when examining the relationship between someone’s weight and health. If you are concerned about your BMI please get in touch with one of our helpful team today who will be happy to discuss this with you.