The Gastric Band is an adjustable silicone band placed around the top of the stomach, just below the oesophagus (food pipe). It causes a restriction or narrowing to the top of the stomach, forming a smaller stomach or “pouch” about the size of a golf ball. The band induces early and prolonged satiety via possible stimulation of the vagus nerves. This serves to reduce the size of the stomach and the amount of food that can be eaten during a meal, as well as slowing the passage of food through the restriction.
The band is connected via narrow tubing to a port, which is placed under the skin either to the left side of the abdomen, or over the sternum (chest bone). The band can be adjusted after surgery by injecting fluid into the port (with or without x-ray supervision), to inflate the band (like the inner tube of a tyre) and creates a further restriction to the passage of food to reduce food intake and encourage further weight loss.
This operation avoids large incisions and does not permanently alter or change the anatomy of the gut and intestine.
The band is adjustable to suit the individual patient and is intended to remain in place permanently to help achieve and maintain weight loss. It can be removed if necessary, but this requires further surgery. Gastric banding does not in interfere with other types of surgery, but your doctor should be informed that you have a band in place.