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What is gastric banding?

Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is a surgery that can help adults and some adolescents who are very obese (morbidly obese) achieve significant weight loss. Gastric banding reduces the size of the stomach and restricts the amount of food you can eat. It involves attaching an inflatable band around the top portion of the stomach and tightening it like a belt. This forms a small pouch that functions as a smaller stomach. The band is attached to a port that is implanted in your abdominal wall under the skin.  

Gastric banding can be a life-saving treatment option for people whose obesity seriously threatens their health. It can help resolve diseases associated with obesity, including type 2 diabetes, and can lower the risk of heart disease.

Candidates for gastric banding include those who have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight using diet, exercise, behavioral and nutritional counseling, and medication. 

Gastric banding is only one part of a complete plan that includes a lifelong commitment to healthy dietary and exercise habits, vitamin supplementation, and regular follow-up care. You may have less invasive treatment options with less risk of complications. Ask your doctor about all your treatment options and consider getting a second opinion before having gastric banding. 

Types of gastric banding

Gastric banding is commonly known by many names, including adjustable gastric banding, AGB, LAP-BAND® surgery, and gastric band surgery. Brand names of gastric banding products include:

  • Realize™ Band
  • Swedish Adjustable Gastric Band (SAGB)

Other procedures that may be performed

Your doctor may perform other procedures in addition to gastric banding, such as vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG). 

VBG is a major surgical procedure that combines gastric banding with stomach stapling. A small stomach pouch is created with surgical staples, leaving a dime-sized opening at the bottom. A band of plastic tissue or mesh is wrapped around the opening to help prevent the opening from stretching. This helps you feel fuller longer by allowing food to stay in the stomach longer. 

VBG is generally not as effective as other weight loss surgeries. It also has a higher rate of complications compared to adjustable gastric banding (AGB). 

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Aug 30, 2016

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Medical References

  1. Adjustable gastric band: MIDBAND™. Medical Innovation Development.,gb,-,hello-and-welcome-to-the-midband-website.html.
  2. Bariatric Surgery. The Journal of the American Medical Association.
  3. Bariatric Surgery - Following Doctor's Orders Results In 35% More Weight Loss. Medical News Today.
  4. Bariatric Surgery for Severe Obesity. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases (NIDDK).
  5. Benefits of Bariatric Surgery. American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.
  6. Pile, JC. Evaluating postoperative fever: A focused approach. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2006;73 (Suppl 1):S62.
  7. Poirier P, et al. Bariatric Surgery and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011; 123: 1683-1701.
  8. Gastric Banding.

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