LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding


Gastric banding is adjustable and is the least invasive weight loss procedure. This procedure does not require re-routing of the intestine or interfere with the normal digestive process. It does require the implantation of the gastric band device, a silicone band that is placed on the upper part of your stomach, creating a small, golf-ball-sized pouch. Your stomach will hold less food and the band slows down food motility through your stomach. Your appetite will decrease, you will feel fuller faster, and you will eat less and still be satisfied.

Weight loss is gradual. The gastric band can be adjusted in the office. You will have a shorter hospital stay and recovery time with this surgery compared to traditional gastric bypass surgery. Regular follow-up visits will be required. This procedure is reversible and should not cause permanent changes to your gastrointestinal tract. The risk of complications with the gastric band is significantly less than with gastric bypass surgery.

Who are candidates for the gastric band?

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or;
  • BMI between 35 and 39.9, with significant obesity-related medical problems
  • A long-standing history of obesity with multiple failed attempts at weight loss in the past, preferably with organized, medically supervised programs
  • Between 18 and 60 years of age (patients outside this age range may be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Not be actively smoking or abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Commit to long-term follow up and lifestyle modifications
  • Gastric banding is ideal for individuals who desire reversibility. Individuals with conditions such as gastric inflammatory diseases, heart or lung disease, and anatomical abnormalities of the gastrointestinal components (esophagus, stomach, intestines) may not qualify for gastric band surgery.

The Surgery

The gastric band procedure only takes about an hour to complete under general anesthesia. Since this surgery is laparoscopic, the surgeon will make small incisions in your abdomen instead of one big incision, and insert the special video camera, the surgical instruments and the gastric band.

The gastric band is positioned around your stomach, locked and secured in place by sutures. A port is then attached to your abdominal wall. This is where the doctor will inject saline into the gastric band device to adjust the restriction on your stomach to suit your specific weight loss needs. Saline is not usually injected until about 6 weeks after surgery to let your body heal and adjust to the device.

Advantages to Adjustable Gastric Banding

  • Completely reversible
  • Adjustable
  • Fewer complications/less risks

Risks associated with Adjustable Gastric Banding

  • Band slippage, erosion, deflation
  • Obstruction of stomach
  • Dilation of esophagus
  • Port malposition, infection, breakage, or hernia
  • Wound infection or skin separation


Stopping smoking has shown to significantly decrease complications and reduce chances of leaks. You are encouraged to begin a healthy diet consisting of smaller, more frequent meals in the weeks leading up to your operation. You should incorporate healthier foods into your diet and exercise more. Doing so will help you launch your healthier lifestyle and possibly lose weight prior to surgery, as well as reduce risks and enhance surgical outcomes.


Most patients will be hospitalized for only one to two days following surgery. You will be prescribed pain medication to make you more comfortable. While exercise and heavy lifting are not permitted right after surgery, walking is encouraged to prevent blood clots. Many patients can go back to work after only one week. A full recovery can take up to three weeks.

In the first 24 hours you can only drink clear liquids to make certain you have no problem consuming or retaining fluids. You will adhere to a liquid diet including special protein shakes in the two weeks after surgery, followed by two weeks of pureed food before being reintroduced to solid foods. You will be provided with a post-surgery nutrition plan, complete with a vitamin and mineral regimen that should be followed to prevent malnutrition. Our registered dietitians will explain this in great detail before your surgery and again before your discharge.

We are here to assist you along the way, providing encouragement and answering your questions. 

For more information...

Contact Ashley Austin, MSN, RN, BSHP at 229-931-1152 or e-mail

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