A gastric band is a plastic device held around the top of the stomach to restrict food that can enter the stomach. The device holds saline solution, which causes the restriction of the stomach. It decreases hunger by causing a stretching of the stomach above the band, which sends a message to the brain telling you that you are full – even if you had a small portion of food.
There is no malabsorption in this procedure. This procedure needs adjustments with saline solution (salt) through the port, to increase or decrease the amount of food that can enter the stomach. If you are gaining weight, the band can be tightened. If you are losing weight too quickly or cannot get food down, the band can be loosened.
Figure 1: Lap-Band Procedure
A gastric band is a surgery that is done laparoscopically (using small incisions in the stomach), a band is introduced into the abdomen and secured around the stomach and sewn in place. It is made of silicon and Silastic. It has a balloon on the inner surface, which is connected to a tube and small port – under the skin. This lies on the top of you abdominal wall. In the port, your doctor will add or remove saline/salt water to increase or decrease the size of the stomach.
The lap-band needs a significant change in your dietary habits. Please ensure that you are well aware of these changes before undergoing the surgery. An accredited practising dietitian will assist you in making these changes.