The Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (LAGB) is an adjustable solid silicone ring surgically placed around the top of the stomach to create an hour glass shape helping weight loss. As a person eats with a band, the narrowed area causes food above it to stretch the ping pong ball space allowing a person to feel fuller, faster, with less without the hunger. The opening through the band is about the size of a pencil when sized correctly. The “adjustments” in the office are customized to each person and are usually only a ten minute visit. The goal for the size of the opening is to eat solid food without too much difficulty.
I have many patients who tell me “This is the first time I have not felt so hungry all the time.” With hunger more controlled it gives the help to be satisfied on less. I ask my patients to “Eat the smallest amount that it takes to not be hungry and stop there.” Liquids with food are avoided to not lower the effectiveness of the band.
Careful eating will lessen difficulty with the narrowed area. People can eat most food but heavy meats and white bread or other “gummy” foods can problematic. Liquid calories or high calorie dense food should be avoided to have maximal benefit. Adding exercise helps as well.
The band is designed to be permanent but can be removed but then you’re on your own. Less than 2.5% of my patients have removed it which does require an operation.
Overall most people are happy with the band and are significantly helped with their efforts for weight loss demonstrated by the fact that it is the most common weight loss surgery in the U.S. It is the safest, only adjustable, outpatient weight loss procedure available. Look for an experienced surgeon and program for better results.