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Gastric Band

Gastric Band

The band is an inflatable band which is placed around the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch above it. It is connected via a tube to a port which sits under the skin on the tummy. Fluid can be injected or removed via this port to tighten or loosen the band. This is a gradual process with adjustments performed repeatedly over time. The aim is to not have it too tight where food is unable to pass and comes back up, and not too loose where you don’t feel full after eating.

Pros: Technically more straightforward operation, reasonable weight loss and outcomes

Cons: Requires more frequent follow-up for band adjustment, Bands can cause problems such as infection, erosion, leakage

The gastric sleeve involves removing 2/3 of the stomach, leaving behind a narrow tube of stomach. This leads to restriction – a feeling of fullness after small meals. There are also effects on the gut hormones which control hunger/fullness, blood sugar control.

Pros: Greater weight loss than the band, greater control of diabetes

Cons: the remainder of stomach is removed completely, so this is considered an irreversible procedure – it may be converted to a gastric bypass if revision is required; Complications can include leaking from the staple line which can be difficult to manage; the tube has high pressure, so any pre-existing acid reflux may be worsened

Gastric band

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