Gastric banding

Specifications regarding the circumstances of performing gastric banding

This obesity treatment method involves mounting a gastric band on the stomach to reduce the quantity of ingested food. This is turn leads to the stabilizing of the patients’ food intake. The surgery does not involve resecting parts of the stomach, and it is suitable for every person, who wishes to lose excess weight, and is ready to undergo lifestyle changes and alter eating habits.

The procedure is easy to complete both with the use of classical as well as laparoscopic methods. Compared to the traditional surgical method, the laparoscopic intervention presents far fewer risks, and the aesthetic result is very appreciated by the patients. If the patient decides to renounce this method of weight loss, the surgery is a reversible one.

What is the gastric band?

Mounting a gastric band involves the use of an inflatable membrane system, which is mounted laparoscopically around the stomach through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The inflatable membrane is connected to an injection port through a long heavy-duty sylicone tube. The ideal placement area for this membrane is the lower part of the junction between the esophagus and the stomach.

The diameter of the gastric band can be adjusted laparoscopically. This divides the stomach into a smaller 15 ml upper part, the rest of the stomach remaining in the lower part.

The laparoscopic procedure of gastric banding

The surgical intervention involves making 4 small incisions of 0.5 - 1 cm and placing the band around the upper pole of the stomach. The passing channel between the upper part of the stomach and the lower one shall be adjusted from the outside by injecting a liquid through the port of the inflatable band. The effect of this is that the patient experiences a feeling of reduced sense of hunger as his food intake is limited to a few bites (15-30 ml). The ingested food reaches the top portion of the stomach first, and is able to seep through to the lower part only at a slow pace.

The laparoscopic procedure of mounting the gastric band has the potential to provide the patient with a 50% weight loss in the first three years following the surgical intervention. The patient is then able to maintain this weight for the rest of his/her life.

The advantages of mounting a gastric band laparoscopically

  • The procedure causes minimal discomfort and pain and this leads to a short time of recovery.
  • Restricting the quantity one is able to ingest will create a negative energetic balance forcing the body to start processing its fat supplies.
  • The surgical intervention leads to a reduction of the ailments associated with obesity (cardio-vascular affections, changes in respiratory function, diabetes, motor deficiency, hormonal imbalance, chronic venous insufficiency).
  • The intervention does not make it compulsory to take mineral or vitamin supplements.
  • Scarring is minimal and will gradually fade with time.
  • The surgical intervention has been proven effective for 80-90% of patients, who managed to maintain the obtained results for the rest of their life without experiencing a weight gain tendency.
  • This particular surgical intervention is associated with a very low number of possible post-op complications.

The post-op period and rehabilitation following the intervention

Due to the minimally invasive surgical method applied, the patients have to spend a very short period in hospital. The patient can return to work in approximately a week after the intervention. If the patient is active in a field, where physical activities are required of him, he can return to work in approximately two weeks.

Following the first 2-3 days after the surgery, driving is strictly forbidden, as this activity may be less comfortable for a period of about 10 days.

Having regular physical activity is an extremely important thing. Starting out with simple walking and gradually increasing the complexity of the activities is recommended.

In the first two weeks following the surgery the diet will be a very strict one. The goal of this is to help the stomach to adapt to a normal food intake and to avoid heaving and stomach blockages. A meal should last for about 20-30 minutes and it should be taken 6 times a day. This habit should optimally replace the three main fuller mealtimes. It is recommended to avoid consuming anything if there is no feeling of hunger present. Furthermore when the feeling of fullness appears, the meal should be ended immediately.

Keeping the strict post-op diet is absolutely necessary, and its details shall be discussed with the surgeon.

In order to provide an adequate monitoring of the weight loss process after the surgical intervention, a close cooperation between the physician and the patient is necessary. The goal is a gradual weight loss, because losing the surplus weight at a fast pace may lead to serious health issues. 

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