Laparoscopic gastric banding is surgery to help with weight loss. The surgeon places a band around the upper part of your stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The band limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food.
After surgery, your doctor can adjust the band to make food pass more slowly or quickly through your stomach.
Gastric bypass surgery is a related topic.
You will receive general anesthesia before this surgery. You will be asleep and unable to feel pain.
The surgery is done using a tiny camera that is placed in your belly. This type of surgery is called laparoscopy. The camera is called a laparoscope. It allows your surgeon to see inside your belly. In this surgery:
When you eat after having this surgery, the small pouch will fill up quickly. You will feel full after eating just a small amount of food. The food in the small upper pouch will slowly empty into the main part of your stomach.
Weight-loss surgery may be an option if you are severely obese and have not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise.
Laparoscopic gastric banding is not a "quick fix" for obesity. It will greatly change your lifestyle. You must diet and exercise after this surgery. If you DO NOT, you may have complications or poor weight loss.
People who have this surgery should be mentally stable and not be dependent on alcohol or illegal drugs.
Doctors often use the following body mass index (BMI) measures to identify people who may be most likely to benefit from weight-loss surgery. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25. This procedure may be recommended for you if you have:
Risks for anesthesia and any surgery includes:
Risks for gastric banding are:
Your surgeon will ask you to have tests and visits with your other health care providers before you have this surgery. Some of these are:
If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking several weeks before surgery and not start smoking again after surgery. Smoking slows recovery and increases the risk of problems. Tell your provider if you need help quitting.
Always tell your provider:
During the week before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Your provider will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
You will probably go home the day of surgery. Many people are able to begin their normal activities 1 or 2 days after going home. Most people take 1 week off from work.
You will stay on liquids or mashed-up foods for 2 or 3 weeks after surgery. You will slowly add soft foods, then regular foods, to your diet. By 6 weeks after surgery, you will probably be able to eat regular foods.
The band is made of a special rubber (silastic rubber). The inside of the band has an inflatable balloon. This allows the band to be adjusted. You and your doctor can decide to loosen or tighten it in the future so you can eat more or less food.
The band is connected to an access port that is under the skin on your belly. The band can be tightened by placing a needle into the port and filling the balloon (band) with water.
Your surgeon can make the band tighter or looser any time after you have this surgery. It may be tightened or loosened if you are:
The final weight loss with gastric banding is not as large as with other weight loss surgery. The average weight loss is about one-third to one-half of the extra weight you are carrying. This may be enough for many people. Talk with your provider about which procedure is best for you.
In most cases, the weight will come off more slowly than with other weight loss surgery. You should keep losing weight for up to 3 years.
Losing enough weight after surgery can improve many medical conditions you might also have, such as:
Weighing less should also make it much easier for you to move around and do your everyday activities.
This surgery alone is not a solution to losing weight. It can train you to eat less, but you still have to do much of the work. To lose weight and avoid complications from the procedure, you will need to follow the exercise and eating guidelines that your provider and dietitian gave you.
Reviewed By: Ann Rogers, MD, Professor of Surgery; Director, Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.