Gastric banding, usually done laparoscopically, is a less invasive and the only adjustable and reversible obesity surgery available. During this procedure, surgeons place an inflatable silicone band around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny pouch that limits the amount of food that can be consumed and slows its progression into the stomach and intestines. The patient feels full sooner and satisfied with smaller amounts of food, ultimately losing up to 40 to 60 percent of his or her excess weight over three years.
This procedure usually requires a one-day hospital stay, and normal activities can be resumed in two to four weeks.
The band itself is adjustable by adding or removing fluid from the band's interior through a small port that is placed beneath the patient's skin. Adjustments can be made as necessary in the surgeon's office, where the surgeon can adjust the band via the port with minimal discomfort to the patient. If the band ever needs to be removed, the stomach will return to its original form and function.