What it Looks Like
An adjustable gastric band consists of a plastic band that goes around the upper part of the stomach, and a system for tightening and loosening the band. The system involves an inner lining to the band that is inflatable with saline (salt water), tubing, and an access port. The access port is implanted under the skin. When the band needs to be adjusted, a needle is stuck into the port, allowing the physician to add or remove saline.
Everything a person eats or drinks still passes into the rest of the stomach and then on into the intestines. Digestion then takes place exactly as it did before surgery.
How it Works
Having the band in place makes it easier to fill up on a small amount of food. The band needs to be adjusted over time to achieve just the right amount of restriction.
When a person is eating the right foods, and their band is adjusted properly, they usually feel less hunger.
A person with a band has to "cooperate" with the band in order to get good weight loss results. The type of food a person eats will have a big effect on how much restriction is experienced. Liquids and slippery foods, like milkshakes, potato chips, and refried beans will pass easily through the banded area.
Lap-Band® is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc.