Gastric surgery has been practiced for many years in an attempt to fight obesity. The aim is to affect the patient's appetite, and therefore their relationship with food. This is achieved by dramatically reducing the size of the stomach. The patient feels full more quickly and stops eating as much food. This type of surgery has had good results, but is dangerous and very invasive. As a result, surgeons are always trying to refine the methods used.
The adjustable gastric band is probably the safest and least invasive surgery available currently. Earlier types of gastric surgery involved staples which create a small "pouch" sectioned off from the rest of the stomach. This pouch fills up quickly, and tells the patient they are full.
Adjustable gastric band works in much the same way. However, it can be adjusted as the patient loses weight. It is much less invasive - it can be put in place via a camera and involves no stapling into the stomach wall. As a result it is much safer than traditional "stomach stapling" types of surgery.
Gastric Band surgery reduces the effective volume of the stomach by up to 90%. The effects are often very positive, with 65-85% of patients registering a significant weight loss. Patients need to be closely monitored after having the adjustable gastric band fitted, since they need to ensure they are getting the right nutrients.
A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, commonly called a Lap-Band, A Band, or LAGB, is an inflatable silicone device placed around the top portion of the stomach to treat obesity, intended to slow consumption of food and thus the amount of food consumed.