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Gastric Banding Surgery


Gastric banding procedures are popular weight loss treatment for people suffering from clinically severe obesity. Gastric banding refers to restrictive bariatric surgery procedures that severely limit stomach capacity and appetite, thus controlling calorie intake. During surgery, a band is placed on the upper part of the stomach, creating a smaller stomach pouch.

Gastric banding procedures offer real hope for effective and long-lasting weight loss. Most patients can expect to lose at least one pound per week for the first year after surgery, and some patients lose weight significantly faster. This steady pace is the healthiest way to lose weight, putting the least amount of strain on the body and minimizing complications while reducing the health risks associated with obesity. Over the long term, the gastric banding is as effective as other surgical weight loss alternatives, including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery.

Gastric Banding Procedure Types

  • LAP-BAND® System: The LAP-BAND® System is a circular band that is implanted around the stomach. It is made out of Silastic®, a type of plastic that does not react with internal body tissues. An inflatable tube is located inside the LAP-BAND®; when filled with an injection of saline solution, the tube can be adjusted to change the size of the stomach pouch. The reservoir used for injecting the solution is implanted under the skin during gastric LAP-BAND® obesity surgery, allowing bariatric surgeons to make adjustments after the initial procedure without the need for additional surgery.
  • REALIZETM Band: The REALIZETM Band is similar to the LAP-BAND® System. However, the manufacturers of the REALIZETM Band state that their band is wider, reducing the risk of slippage; has a lower leak rate; and the injection port does not require sutures, reducing pain.
  • Vertical Banded Gastroplasty: Vertical banded gastroplasty is rarely performed today due to the development of safer and more effective banding procedures. This approach involved the placement of a band, combined with staples, to create a stomach pouch. This procedure differs from newer banding procedures because VBG requires permanent changes to the digestive track and the band is not adjustable.


  • Effective, permanent weight loss: Gastric banding is proven to be an effective means of losing weight and maintaining a healthier size over long periods of time.
  • Reduction of health problems: Obesity is closely linked to a variety of serious health problems, including heart disease and diabetes, which can put an overweight person at real risk of premature death. Most people who suffer from obesity realize this risk, and many have made repeated efforts to get healthy through rigorous changes to diet and exercise. Unfortunately, many of these people do not succeed despite making a real effort. Gastric banding may be the right solution for these patients.
  • Flexibility and adjustability: Some gastric banding procedures are easily reversible, which is a distinct advantage for prospective patients concerned about the possible side effects of bariatric surgery. Gastric banding procedures such as the LAP-BAND® System and RealizeTM Band are designed to be adjustable, allowing surgeons to fine-tune treatment to the needs of the individual patient without additional surgeries. With injections of saline fluid into a port implanted beneath the skin, surgeons can tighten or loosen the band to change the size of the stomach pouch. This allows the surgeon to balance safety, comfort, and steady weight loss while minimizing complications.
  • Safety and reversibility: The LAP-BAND® System and RealizeTM Band gastric banding procedures are the safest and least invasive surgical weight loss procedures available. Unlike other alternatives, gastric banding does not require surgeons to reconfigure the digestive tract. This means that the procedure is simpler and safer. Further, these treatments do not require permanent surgical changes to the digestive tract; in other words, the procedure is reversible. If severe post-surgical complications arise, surgeons can remove the gastric band and restore the digestive tract to its normal structure. By contrast, this is not the case with a procedure such as gastric bypass, which requires surgeons to permanently alter the anatomy of the stomach and intestines.

Find a Gastric Banding Surgeon

These important advantages make gastric banding a good option for chronically obese patients who are interested in losing weight and improving their health. Bariatric surgeons nationwide offer gastric banding as an option to their patients. To find a surgeon in your area, search DocShop's database of weight loss surgeons.

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