Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band, which is also known as a Lap-Band surgery is something that is considered by obese individuals as a means to curtail the appetite and therefore lose weight.
The gastric band surgery is a kind of bariatric surgery that is an option for those individuals with a Body Mass Index of 40 and above.
Moderately overweight individuals with medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea may also benefit from the gastric band surgery.
How does the gastric band work?
The gastric band is surgically placed upon the stomach creating a stoma or a pouch which has the ability to hold far less food than a normal sized stomach.
The placement of the gastric band results in the stomach filling up very quickly with very little food, so that the person feels a sensation of satiety with little food. The gastric band slows the passage of food from the upper to the lower part of the stomach.
The person feels fuller for a longer time and is able to eat only small portions resulting in a drastic reduction of calories consumed and consequent weight loss.
The gastric band is so placed that it can be adjusted by inflation and an optimal restriction is sought to be placed on the stomach by virtue of the gastric band.
It is a delicate balance that is sought: the gastric band should be inflated enough that hunger and caloric intake is contained, and should not be so inflated that a person can barely eat if at all. The inflation and positioning of the gastric band therefore varies from person to person.
Who is a candidate for the Gastric Band Surgery?
Unlike other bariatric surgeries such as the gastric bypass surgery, the duodenal switch, or biliopancreatic diversion, the gastric band’s placement does not involve any part of the digestive system to be removed or cut in any way.
Also when the gastric band is removed the stomach is able to easily return to its pre banded state, however this is not something that one undergoes lightly or for purely cosmetic reasons.
There are risks associated with the procedure and complications such as ulceration and gastritis may result. Sometimes the gastric band may migrate through the wall of the stomach and may not even be identified. Excessive vomiting and slippage may also be caused.
This surgery could be an option for adults who have tried all other methods of weight loss but failed and who have been obese for 5 years or more. Those that have no other medical or psychological reasons for not having the gastric band placed could have the procedure carried out.
There are certain medical conditions due to which the surgery is not indicated, and for those individuals who have heart or lung related illness this is not indicated.
Also women who are trying to get pregnant should have the gastric band deflated and then reinflated to help with post partum weight loss.