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What is gastric banding?

Gastric banding, also known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), is a surgical treatment for obesity.

 It is a type of bariatric surgery that involves placing an adjustable, inflatable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch to hold food.

 The band constricts the stomach, so a person feels full after eating less food than usual.

 The band is connected to a port that is placed underneath the skin, and the surgeon can adjust the fit of the band by injecting saline fluid through the port.

 This allows the band to be tightened or loosened, which can help control the amount of food that a person can eat.

Gastric banding is the least invasive surgery for weight loss and is completely reversible with another "keyhole" operation.

 It is performed using laparoscopic surgery, which usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.

 Because no part of the stomach is stapled or removed, and the patient's intestines are not re-routed, they can continue to absorb nutrients from food normally.

Gastric banding is indicated for people with a body mass index (BMI) above 40, or those who are 100 pounds (7 stone/45 kilograms) or more over their estimated ideal weight, according to the National Institutes of Health.

 It can also be indicated for those with a BMI between 30 and 40 with co-morbidities that may improve with weight loss, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and obstructive sleep apnea.

 However, gastric banding is not a "quick fix" for obesity, and it greatly changes a person's lifestyle. Diet and exercise are necessary after the surgery, or there may be complications or poor weight loss.


How does the gastric band work?

Gastric banding is a type of bariatric surgery that involves placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to decrease stomach size and reduce food intake.

 The "Lap-Band" is the only brand of gastric band that is currently available in the U.S. .

 The gastric band is an adjustable, inflatable tube made of soft silicone. It’s placed around the upper portion of your stomach to form a ring. This inflatable ring is connected to a port that is placed underneath your skin. Your surgeon can tighten the fit of the band by accessing the skin port and injecting with saline fluid, enough to allow a small outlet between the upper portion of your stomach and the lower part.

 The band limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food. After surgery, your doctor can adjust the band to make food pass more slowly or quickly through your stomach.

 An advantage of this form of bariatric procedure is that it allows the body to digest food normally since it does not involve any cutting or stapling of the stomach or rerouting of the intestines.


Is it possible to reach my ideal body weight with gastric banding?

It is possible to reach your ideal body weight following gastric banding, but it may not be guaranteed for everyone. The amount of weight loss varies from person to person and depends on various factors such as initial weight, individual metabolism, and adherence to post-surgery guidelines.

Here are some key points to consider:

·        Most patients can expect to lose about 50% of their excess weight following gastric banding.

·        Weight loss outcomes can vary, and some patients may lose more or less than the average expected weight loss.

·        Bariatric surgery, including gastric banding, is not solely focused on achieving a "normal weight" but rather on improving overall health and well-being.

·        The goal weight after gastric banding is determined on an individual basis, and your bariatric health specialists will work with you to set realistic expectations.

·        Research suggests that most patients experience weight loss in the range of 50 to 80 percent of their pre-surgery excess weight.

·        It's important to note that weight loss surgery eligibility is determined based on factors such as BMI and the presence of health complications.

Ultimately, the success of reaching your ideal body weight after gastric banding depends on various factors and individual circumstances. It's important to consult with your healthcare provider and bariatric health specialists to understand your specific goals and expectations. They can provide personalized guidance and support throughout your weight loss journey.

Can the gastric band be removed?

Yes, the gastric band can be removed. Lap band surgery is both minimally invasive and completely reversible.

 Most lap band removal procedures can be done laparoscopically, which is a relatively easy and safe operation depending on existing complications.

 The common reasons for removing the gastric band include inadequate weight loss or complications after 7-10 years.

 The complications may include slipping or erosion of the band, obstruction, and infection.

 After removing the gastric band, the surgeon may proceed with the sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery following the removal of gastric band or perform a revision three months later.


Will I experience frequent sickness or nausea after the gastric band surgery?

After gastric band surgery, it is common to experience some side effects, including frequent sickness or nausea. Here are some key points from the search results:

·        In the early days and weeks after surgery, it is normal to experience fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.

·        Postoperative nausea and vomiting are major side effects of general anesthesia, and they can lead to reduced well-being and prolonged hospital stays.

·        Food intolerance can occur after gastric band surgery, and it can cause symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

·        Dumping syndrome, which occurs when the contents of the stomach empty too quickly into the small intestine, can also cause nausea.

·        Nausea and vomiting can occur immediately after bariatric surgery, and it is known as postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) .

It is important to note that the severity and frequency of these symptoms can vary from person to person. If you are experiencing frequent sickness or nausea after gastric band surgery, it is recommended to discuss your concerns with your bariatric surgery team or surgeon for proper evaluation and guidance.


Is gastric band surgery reversible?

Yes, gastric band surgery is reversible.

 The procedure involves placing an inflatable band around the top of the stomach, which can be removed if needed.

 However, the majority of patients do not have good results from this procedure because of its many disadvantages and complications, and many studies have shown that more than half of the gastric bands are removed due to inadequate weight loss or complications after 7-10 years.

 If a patient wants to convert to a more effective bariatric procedure, the surgeon may proceed with the sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery following the removal of gastric band or perform a revision three months later.


Is gastric band surgery safe?

According to the search results, gastric band surgery is generally considered safe, but like any surgical procedure, it has risks.

 The risk of death due to gastric banding surgery is less than one in 3,000.

 Compared to other bariatric procedures, the gastric band has the lowest complication rate after surgery, and there is no division of stomach or intestines.

 It can also be removed if needed.

 However, gastric banding surgery has a high failure rate and leads to less weight loss than other bariatric procedures.

 Short-term results for gastric banding patients seem positive, but over time people may experience weight gain or other complications, such as band deterioration or slippage, both of which require follow-up surgery.

 Between 15% and 60% of people with adjustable gastric banding require re-operation.

 The main advantage of the adjustable gastric band is that it has a lower risk of complications immediately after surgery.

 Any bariatric surgery is a major commitment with important pros and cons to consider, and gastric band surgery is no exception.


How does gastric band compare to gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric banding and gastric bypass are both surgical procedures for weight loss, but they differ in their approach and effectiveness. Here are some key differences between the two procedures:

Gastric Banding

·        Gastric banding is purely restrictive, meaning it limits food intake.

·        The procedure involves placing an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch that can hold only a small amount of food.

·        The surgery is less invasive than gastric bypass and can be reversed.

·        The % weight loss for gastric banding is typically 30% to 55% .

·        The cost of gastric banding is generally lower than gastric bypass, at around $15,000.

Gastric Bypass

·        Gastric bypass is both restrictive and malabsorptive, meaning it limits food intake and reduces calorie absorption.

·        The procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch and rerouting the small intestine to the pouch, bypassing most of the stomach and the first section of the small intestine.

·        The surgery is more invasive than gastric banding and cannot be reversed.

·        The % weight loss for gastric bypass is typically 65% to 85% .

·        The cost of gastric bypass is generally higher than gastric banding, at around $25,000.

Both procedures carry certain risks and benefits, and the choice between them depends on individual factors such as medical history and weight loss goals. While gastric bypass produces greater weight loss than gastric banding, it also comes with a higher risk of short-term complications.

 On the other hand, gastric banding is less invasive and can be reversed, but it may not be as effective for weight loss as gastric bypass.

 Ultimately, patients should consult with their doctor to determine which procedure is best for them.

Can someone develop an allergy to the gastric band?

It is possible for someone to develop food intolerance after gastric band surgery.

 However, there is no evidence to suggest that someone can develop an allergy to the gastric band itself.

Food intolerance after gastric band surgery can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and bloating.

 If the band is too tight, it can cause food intolerance even to soft, moist foods.

 In some cases, food intolerance can lead to low levels of certain nutrients in the body, which can cause malnutrition if left untreated.

There is one reported case of a patient who developed worsening food allergic reactions after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

 However, this was attributed to increased absorption of dietary antigens following the surgery, rather than an allergy to the surgery itself.In summary, while food intolerance is a risk after gastric band surgery, there is no evidence to suggest that someone can develop an allergy to the gastric band itself.

Can weight loss surgery be reversed for both gastric band and gastric bypass procedures?

Yes, weight loss surgery can be reversed for both gastric band and gastric bypass procedures.

 However, the reversibility of the procedure depends on the specifics of each bariatric surgery. Gastric band surgery is the only reversible bariatric procedure.

 It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be reversed by getting rid of the implanted device. Although bariatric patients can go for additional surgeries to readjust or reposition the band, it can remain in place for a long time until the patient is confident enough to lose weight without the help of the band. However, removing the band has higher consequences since it leaves a scar that increases the chances of a leak.

 On the other hand, gastric bypass procedures are both potentially reversible.

 Reversal requires an operation of the same or greater magnitude and risk.

 It is important to note that weight gain and other complications associated with obesity are likely to occur after reversal.

How Much Can I Expect to Save by Going Abroad for gastric band ?

The cost savings of going abroad for gastric band surgery can vary depending on the destination and the specific procedure. Here are some examples of potential cost savings:

1.   Gastric Sleeve Surgery:

·        Mexico: The cost of gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico is around $4,400.

·         This is significantly lower compared to the cost of around $27,000 in the US.

·         This means potential savings of up to 83% to 87% .

·        Turkey: Gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey costs around $3,250.

·         This represents a substantial cost saving compared to the US.

2.   Gastric Bypass Surgery:

·        Mexico: Gastric bypass surgery in Mexico costs around $5,490.

·         In contrast, the cost in the US is approximately $25,000.

·         This translates to potential savings of up to 80% to 90% .

·        Turkey: Gastric bypass surgery in Turkey is priced at $2,150.

·         This represents significant cost savings compared to the US.

3.   Gastric Band Surgery:

·        India: Gastric band surgery in India starts at $6,500.

·         In the UK, the average cost is around 10,000 GBP.

·         This indicates potential savings by going abroad for the procedure.

It's important to note that these cost savings are estimates and can vary depending on factors such as the specific clinic, additional travel expenses, and currency fluctuations.

 It's also crucial to consider other factors such as the quality of care, the reputation of the clinic, and the convenience of travel when making a decision about going abroad for gastric band surgery.

Please consult with a healthcare professional or a medical tourism agency for more accurate and personalized information regarding the cost savings of gastric band surgery abroad.


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