Gastric Band Surgery, Dothan Alabama


Adjustable gastric band surgery is one of the least-invasive bariatric procedures, as no portions of the digestive tract are removed, nor rearranged. It is also the only fully reversible bariatric surgery. The gastric band placed around a portion of the stomach is adjustable so the amount of weight loss can be adapted to the needs of the patient, and if necessary, the band can be removed to allow anatomic structures to slowly return to their original state.

How Gastric Band Works

gastric band diagramGastric band surgery uses an adjustable band, or belt, placed around the lower portion of the esophagus at the entrance to the stomach. The band creates a pouch above the stomach that fills quickly with food and provides a sensation of fullness. The band also slows the passage of food into the stomach, lengthening the time that you feel satisfied after a meal.

The band is attached to a special injection port located just beneath the skin of the abdomen. Your weight loss surgeon can tighten or loosen the band using the port to manage the rate of weight loss and obtain the best long-term results.

Benefits of Gastric Band Surgery

  • Aside from weight loss, one of the primary benefits of gastric band surgery is that it does not permanently alter any portion of your digestive tract. The ring or band can be surgically removed if necessary.
  • Gastric-band surgery typically reduces excess weight by 40 percent, but there can be more-or-less weight loss depending on the lifestyle changes made following surgery.
  • Gastric-band surgery is performed laparoscopically. This method of surgery uses several small incisions and special tools to avoid the need for a large incision. Laparoscopic surgery is associated with faster healing, less discomfort, a lower rate of infection and a more pleasing cosmetic appearance.

Risks of Gastric Band Surgery

There are risks associated with any type of weight loss surgery, including infection, blood loss and complications of anesthesia. Additional risks associated with gastric band surgery include:

  • Band slippage: In rare instances the stomach can push through the band and must be repositioned.
  • Band erosion: Ulcers forming at the site of the band can allow the band to erode through the stomach wall.
  • Access Port Problems: The port can shift its position or turn over, making it difficult to access. Additionally, the port can occasionally leak or become a site for infection.

Most issues with the gastric band occur after the band has been in place for an extended period. Many problems can be corrected without the need for a second surgery, but more complicated issues must be corrected surgically.

Your surgeon will review all risks with you prior to your surgery.

Gastric Band Adjustment

The gastric band requires close follow-up. In the early stages, adjustments may be required quite frequently until the correct rate of weight loss is achieved. Making an adjustment is a minor procedure usually performed during an office visit, and it is usually painless.

During an adjustment, your surgeon will add or remove saline from the gastric band. This changes the tightness of the band and makes the area under the band, called the stoma, smaller or larger. Typically, the smaller the stoma, the greater the weight loss.

As with any bariatric procedure, your long-term weight loss depends on how closely you adhere to the diet and activity instructions that we provide for you.