Gastric Banding

You will most likely know it simply as a gastric band, but this surgical weight-loss aid is formally known as a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, sometimes shortened to LAGB or a lap-band.

The idea behind gastric banding is to help you feel full more quickly, so you eat less and take longer to feel hungry again. It also slows your digestion for more successful weight loss. The band itself is an inflatable silicone device which is inserted and fitted through laparoscopic surgery (keyhole surgery). It’s probably the least invasive gastrointestinal surgery there is.

What Does Fitting a Gastric Band Involve?

The procedure entails having an adjustable band placed around your stomach, dividing it into an upper stomach and lower stomach. Your ‘new’ stomach is the upper portion, which only holds a small amount of food at a time. Since the band creates a narrow passage between the upper and lower portions of the stomach, food takes a lot longer to pass through and be digested. This means you will feel fuller for longer with less food, and you don’t feel hungry between meals.

All incisions are very minimal as it is performed through laparoscopic technology. The procedure length is about 1.5 hours, and is performed on an outpatient basis. Your band will need to be adjusted, initially every month and decreasing to every couple months until a safe weight is achieved.

The band is adjusted by adding or removing saline solution to ensure adequate, safe weight loss. It’s an inpatient procedure, but you will only require a short stay in our hospital.

Am I Suitable for Gastric Banding?

The first thing to note is that, as with all surgery, fitting a gastric band carries a small element of risk.

Secondly, except in certain circumstances, we only perform gastric band operations for people who have already tried to achieve weight loss through regular exercise and healthy eating, and who have ultimately been unsuccessful.

To be a good candidate for gastric banding:

  • You need to be at least 100lbs over your ideal weight
  • You need a BMI greater than 35
  • Or a BMI greater than 40 with co-morbidity such as high blood pressure, or type II diabetes
  • You must have been overweight for over 5 years
  • You must not be suffering from any other disease that would cause you to be overweight.

How Effective is a Gastric Band?

Within the first two years, the average weight loss is around 60% of your initial body weight before surgery. Having a gastric band does mean real lifestyle changes though; after the operation you’ll be restricted to eating liquefied food for a short while, and from then on to pureed food and then solid food – albeit in much smaller quantities than you are used to. Recovering from gastric band surgery usually takes around two weeks.

We always recommend that once you are recovered, as well as eating healthily to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need, that you incorporate exercise into your daily or weekly routines.

If you are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle, and want to improve the overall quality of your life, call Clinic 360 at 416-360-7360 to book your  complimentary consultation.

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