Weight Loss Center

Weight Loss Health Guide

HomeEmailPrintPhoneSite Map

Laparoscopic gastric banding

How it works

Laparoscopic gastric banding is surgery to help with weight loss. The surgeon places a band around the upper part of your stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The band limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food.

The band is made of a special (silastic) rubber. The inside of the band has an inflatable balloon. This allows the band to be adjustable. This means that you and your doctor can decide to loosen or tighten it in the future. This will enable you to eat more or less food.

The band is connected to an access port underneath the skin on your belly. The band can be tightened by placing a needle into the port and filling the balloon (band) with fluid.

What happens during surgery?

You will receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This will make you unconscious and unable to feel pain.

The surgery is done using a tiny camera that is placed in your belly. This type of surgery is called laparoscopy. It allows your surgeon to see inside your belly. Your surgeon will:

  • Make 5 - 6 small incisions (cuts) in your belly.
  • Through these small cuts, the surgeon will place a camera and the instruments to perform the surgery.
  • The camera is connected to a TV monitor and the surgeon can see inside your belly.
  • Place a band around the upper part of your stomach to separate it from the lower part. This creates a small pouch that has a narrow opening that goes into the larger, lower part of your stomach.

This surgery takes about 30 - 60 minutes.

What to expect after surgery

Most people go home the same day of surgery. Some will stay one night in the hospital.

Most people take 1 week off of work.

You will remain on liquid or puréed food for 2 or 3 weeks after surgery. You will slowly add soft foods and then regular food to your diet. By 6 weeks you will probably be eating regular foods.

See Understanding life after bariatric surgery and Diet after gastric bypass for more information about how eating and other parts of your life will change after this surgery.

Things to consider

  • The surgery does not involve any cutting or stapling inside your belly.
  • The band is adjustable. This means that your doctor can loosen or tighten the band, which will make the size of the stomach pouch larger or smaller. This is done by injecting a special type of salt water into the port placed under the skin on your belly. This simple procedure is painless.
  • Most people will need to have the band adjusted every 2 - 3 months for the first year after surgery.
  • Recovery after surgery is easier than after gastric bypass surgery.
  • If the band needs to be removed in the future, the stomach will most often return to the shape or form present before gastric banding surgery was done.
  • Weight loss with this surgery is not as great as after gastric bypass surgery.
  • In order to prevent weight regain after gastric banding, you will need to follow a diet and exercise program for the rest of your life.
Rate This Page
Tell Us
What You Think...
Review Date: 10/14/2012

Reviewed By: Ann Rogers, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery; Director, Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.

View References: View References

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only - they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.