Gastric band surgery is a weight loss operation used to reduce the size of the abdomen. This is achieved by a belt to separate a portion of the stomach into a smaller bag. Vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) and adjustable gastric band (AGB) operations are the two common types of band obesity surgery.
Vertical banded gastroplasty uses an obesity band in conjunction with surgical pins. In VGB operations, a hole is cut in the abdomen and the obesity band is placed through the hole and then wrapped around the outside of the abdomen. This slows digestion by limiting the size of the exit through which food passes. The goal is to make the patient feel full longer.
After the band is in place the paragraph above is separated from the rest of the abdomen by a row of surgical pins. The resulting bag usually has between 1 ounce and 2 grams (around 28 grams to 57 grams) of food. By combining the gastric band and the reduced size of the abdomen, the patient often feels fulfilled on smaller foods for an extended period of time. This type of band obesity surgery is often referred to as abdominal stapling.
Adjustable gastric band surgery is performed by laparoscopic surgery and is often called lap-band surgery. Two or three small incisions are made in the abdominal area, and the abdominal band is threaded through one of these incisions. The band is then wrapped around the top of the stomach and tightened to create a small food bag.
Lap bands are expandable and adjustments are made by filling the band with salt water. This is usually achieved by injecting the solution into a port to the left of the physician during band obesity surgery. This port is usually anchored to the muscles of the diaphragm wall, just below the skin.
Any band obesity surgery has associated risks. Postoperative pain and infection are the most frequent complaints, and reduced food intake combined with poor diet choices can lead to malnutrition and dehydration. Important bands can sometimes slip, causing pain and, in rare cases, internal damage. These slippages often require corrective surgery. Complications that result in death are rare but possible.
Patients must meet certain criteria to be eligible for band obesity surgery. Typically, a patient must be at least 80 pounds to 100 pounds (36 kilos to 45 kilos) overweight and have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher to be considered. Patients must be between 18 and 60 years old and in good enough health to withstand the surgery themselves. Many doctors require a patient to show signs of inability to lose weight using non-surgical weight loss methods.
Weight loss is very likely after either VBG or AGB surgery, but patients rarely reach a healthy weight using surgery alone. Changes in diet and exercise are still needed for weight maintenance after band obesity surgery. Patients are encouraged to view the procedure as a tool rather than a solution.
- Adjustable abdominal band surgery is a type of laparoscopic surgery done with just two or three small incisions in the abdomen.
- Obesity surgery is an operation that facilitates weight loss.
- A scalpel is a small, sharp knife used in operations to make incisions.