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What are the advantages and disadvantages of a gastric band?

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simplyweight Team

The Gastric Band involves placing a band around the uppermost part of the stomach. This results in a small pouch above the band and the main part of the stomach is below it. The band restricts the amount of food and fluid coming from the small pouch to the main part of the stomach below.

The pouch only holds a small amount of food and therefore becomes distended and leads to a feeling of fullness very quickly. This is helped by the band being placed around a group of nerve fibres (Vagus nerve) at the top of the stomach which, when stretched, send signals to the brain to help register fullness. 

The speed at which the pouch empties is determined by the tightness of the band and when just right means that you will only be able to eat a small meal (the equivalent of the meal of a two year old) and will feel satisfied after it. Your first band adjustment will be at 4-6 weeks. You will need to have the band adjusted from time to time as your weight loss progresses. With this procedure the structure of the stomach and intestines are not altered, so digestion and absorption remain normal.

gastric band surgery

Advantages of gastric band operation

• You can expect to lose roughly 50-60 per cent of your excess weight.

• The amount of food that can be consumed at a meal is restricted.

• Food passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be absorbed  
   fully by the body.

• The band can be adjusted to increase or decrease restriction via an access port in your
   abdominal wall.

• Surgery can be reversed (though you will most likely regain weight)

Disadvantages of gastric band operation

• The access port may leak or twist, which can require another operation to correct the

• Weight loss may not start for a number of months after surgery until the band is filled
    or inflated.

• Surgery may not always provide the necessary feeling of fullness

• The band may erode into the stomach wall (erosion).

• The band may move or slip (band slippage).

• 10 per cent of people fail to lose weight with the band.

• Weight loss is slower than that following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

• You will require a daily multivitamin supplement for life

• Weight regain will occur if you do not follow dietary advice and exercise regularly

Please read all the related articles in the general section of simplyweight to have a better understanding of this operation.