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Adjustable Gastric Banding

Adjustable Gastric Band is a surgical weight loss aid placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch, which can only hold a small amount of food-thus restricting the amount of food consumed at any given time. The lower, larger part of the stomach remains below the band. A small outlet created by the band connects both parts. Food passes through the outlet from the upper stomach pouch to the lower part more slowly, enabling patients to feel full both earlier and longer. Both the amount of food a patient eats and his or her appetite is reduced. Adjustable Gastric Banding allows your surgeon to easily change the size of the opening after the procedure. Following three clinical trials, the procedure was approved by the FDA as a treatment for morbid obesity in 2001.

An alternative to a gastric bypass, the procedure has a very low complication rate, with shorter recovery time. Best results occur for patients with BMIs between 40 and 50. Typically, it's performed as an outpatient procedure, but an overnight stay may be required. The Adjustable Gastric Banding procedure is also reversible and considered safer for patients over age 65.

However, compared to the Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass, which yields a loss of excess body weight as high as 75 percent, Adjustable Gastric Banding produces a slower and less overall weight loss, at around 35 to 40 percent excess body weight. Strong patient commitment and frequent follow-up is required. A port that allows the surgeon to make adjustments remains permanently just beneath the abdominal skin surface. There is also a small chance that another operation will be needed sometime in the future.