What is Gastric Band Surgery?Gastric band surgery is one of the many ‘restrictive’ types of surgeries that people choose for weight loss. Restrictive surgeries are meant to reduce the size of your stomach so that you feel full and your hunger also gets satisfied quicker with a less amount of food intake, which eventually results in you losing weight faster.
How is a Gastric Band surgery performed?Gastric band surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a laparoscope to perform the surgery. In the laparoscopic gastric band surgery the surgeon makes very small (keyhole) incisions in your belly to insert the laparoscope into your stomach area. This laparoscope is fitted with a video camera that lets the surgeon view the inside of your belly better. This laparoscope is also fitted with tiny surgical instruments that are needed in the surgery. The gastric band is actually a synthetic medical implant which is made of silicone in the shape of a band whose circumference can be adjusted according to the requirement. The laparoscope is used to fix this band around the upper end of your stomach to create a smaller pouch which is connected to the lower and bigger part, stomach through a less than an inch wide outlet. The upper banded part can hold about an ounce of food. A plastic tube connects the gastric silicone band to a device which is fitted under the skin. This device is useful in filling, or removing, saline sterile solution from the gastric band which, in turn, controls its circumference size.
What are the possible complications of a Gastric Band surgery?The swift weight loss due to gastric banding surgery may result in certain complications. These are the complications that are seen right after the surgery:
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
Excess skinAs weight loss occurs due to lower food intake the body first starts to shed its fat deposits, this causes the, previously, stretched skin to remain stretched. After a significant loss in weight the excess skin loses its elasticity and remains stretched and sagging which looks uncomely. This excess skin is mostly seen in the areas around the hips, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, limbs and breasts. An additional tummy tuck procedure is advised in case there is a very noticeable sagging skin after weight loss which removes the excess sagging skin and stretches the remaining skin more firmly.
Stomal stenosisThis is caused when the stoma – the hole connecting the lower stomach to the small intestine – gets blocked by a piece of food. This causes the person to feel nauseas and the person will start vomiting. This is treated by using an ‘endoscope’, a small and flexible surgical tube, to the site of the narrowed connection (stoma). This endoscope carries a deflated balloon attached to the other end which is inflated at the site of the stoma to temporarily increase the size of the passage to the small intestine.
SlippageThere is a rare risk of the gastric band slipping from its intended position and resulting in making the pouch larger than planned. This can give rise to vomiting, nausea and heartburn. Additional surgery is required to put the gastric band back in its original place.