You will be on general anesthesia during the surgery and you will be asleep and unable to feel pain.
The surgery will be done using a minimally invasive technique called laparoscopy.
To begin, your surgeon will create 2-5 small incisions in your abdomen. Through these incisions, your surgeon can insert a tiny camera (laparoscope) and other instruments necessary to perform the surgery.
Your surgeon will then place the band around the upper section of the stomach to divide it into two compartments. This creates a small pouch that has a small opening that drains into the larger, lower part of your stomach. See illustration below.
The surgery will not require any cutting or stapling inside your belly.
The surgery will take approximately 1 hour to finish.
After the Procedure
You will likely go home the day of the procedure. Most patients are capable of starting their usual activities in less than a week after going home.
You will feed on liquids or mashed-up for 2-3 weeks after the procedure. Gradually, you will add soft foods, then regular foods to your diet. By six weeks after the procedure, you can expect to be ready to eat regular foods.
The gastric band is made from a special rubber with the inside part having an inflatable balloon. This enables the band to be adjusted. You and your doctor can choose to loosen or tighten it sometime so you can eat more or less food.
The band is linked to an access port that is placed just under your skin on your belly. The band can be tightened by inserting a needle into the port and injecting the balloon with water. See figure above.
The balloon can be tightened or loosened in case you are:
- Having difficulty eating
- Not shedding the necessary weight
- Vomiting after eating