Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is a surgery that is normally performed on morbidly obese patients. This surgery helps patients to lose excess weight. Patients who are not able to lose weight with regular weight loss methods and also have health complications are suggested this surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery, also known as minimal invasive surgery, is the kind of surgery in which small incisions are made on the patient’s body. Various surgical tools are inserted through these incisions to view the patient’s body internally, and perform the surgery. The surgery is carried out on patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more―overweight by a minimum of 100 pounds or more. People with BMI of 30 or more are termed obese. This surgery helps morbidly obese patients to lose excess weight in a short span of time.
During the Course of the Surgery
During the surgery, a band is placed around the top of the intestine, just below the esophagus. The material used for the band are synthetic polypropylene mesh, synthetic polyethylene terephthalate, or polytetrafluoroethylene. Silicone gastric bands are also available now. The placement of the band creates a small pouch at the top of the intestine. Due to this, the food intake of the patient is reduced considerably. The food is passed from the pouch downwards to the stomach through the small opening, that connects the pouch to the stomach. The passing of food occurs at a very slow rate; hence, the patient does not feel hungry often. Studies show that in patients who have undergone this surgery, the weight loss is up to 50% of their actual weight after a period of 5 years.
No change of any kind is made to the anatomy of a patient’s body. In this surgery, no part of the stomach is cut. Hence, the period of hospitalization is also reduced and is normally one day. But it also depends on the health of the patient. The patient can start working after 5 to 7 days of rest. Since this surgery is done via incisions, the chances of infection are reduced drastically. The patient does not face any kind of nutritional deficiency, as is the case with other kinds of gastric surgeries, like gastric bypass and vertical banded gastroplasty.
There are two kinds of laparoscopic gastric banding surgeries that are performed. One of them is laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, the other being vertical banded gastroplasty.
In vertical banded gastroplasty, in addition to the band, the stomach above the pouch is stapled. But this procedure has a lot of side effects, like nutrition deficiency; hence it is not a preferred form of surgery.
In adjustable laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, as the name suggests, the band is adjustable. The adjusting of the band is done by passing or sucking out saline water from the band via a small tube. Whether the band is to be inflated or deflated depends on the personal needs of the patient; for example, when a woman is planning her pregnancy, it’s natural that the woman requires more nutrients. Due to less intake of food, there is a possibility that the woman might lose out on nutrition. Hence, the band is adjusted. The band can be readjusted to the original size, once the woman has stopped breastfeeding the child. The readjustment of the band helps the woman lose weight gained during her pregnancy and lactation period.
The surgery, at times, can also have adverse effects on the patient. These effects can be summed up as under:
- There may be cases where the band can slip. Due to this, the food may not pass down to the stomach properly.
- Since the band is made up of elastic, there are chances of the band losing its elasticity. In such cases, surgery does not have any effect, as the amount of food intake increases to the original amount that was before the surgery.
- At times, around the band, there is a tissue buildup. This leads to congestion in the outlet from the pouch; therefore, less amount of food passes to the stomach.
In spite of the risks involved, the benefits are many. This type of gastric banding has helped patients suffering from various diseases, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. The weight loss achieved has gone a long way in improving the quality of life of morbidly obese individuals.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a medical professional.