What is a gastric band?

The formal name is a Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band.

A gastric band is just what the name says, a band around your stomach. It is performed using laparoscopy.

  • Your surgeon places a ring with an inner inflatable band.
  • This creates a small pouch at top of your stomach.
  • When you eat, the food fills the pouch
  • This makes you feel full after eating only a small amount of food
  • The inflatable band has a circular balloon inside that is filled with salt solution
  • Your surgeon adjusts the size of the opening from the pouch to the rest of your stomach by injecting the salt solution.

After surgery, you will need several follow-up visits to adjust the size of the band opening.

  • If the band is too restrictive, your surgeon can reduce the size to allow more food to enter your stomach.
  • Likewise, the band may be increased by adding more salt solution, thus making it more restrictive
  • The band may also be removed if it is causing you complications.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved use of the gastric band for

  • People with a BMI of 30 or more
  • People who also have at least one health problem linked to obesity.