Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the stomach for weight loss. In this procedure, a silicone band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch. Afterwards, the stomach is smaller, so people feel full faster, eat less and lose weight.

A gastric band is intended to be a long-term implant. Most people lose weight with the gastric band but one should not assume that a gastric band is a permanent device. A good number of people require another operation to reposition, replace or remove the gastric band sometime during their life due to complications or because they have not lost weight.

However, if you have any complications or you do not lose weight you may need to have additional surgery to reposition, replace or remove the gastric band.

Patient Eligibility

Gastric banding is a weight loss option for people who have not been successful using non-surgical weight loss methods, such as supervised diet, exercise or behavior modification.

FDA-approved gastric banding devices are approved for patients who are 18 and older with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 35-40.

People with certain stomach or intestinal disorders, who must take aspirin frequently or are addicted to alcohol or drugs, should not have gastric banding.

Gastric banding requires a lifelong commitment to eating less and following doctor recommendations. People who are not able to do this may experience severe complications.

Lifestyle Changes after Gastric Banding Surgery

Gastric banding is not a “quick fix.”

In order to be successful you must make major, long-term changes to your eating habits. The smaller pouch that is created at the top of your stomach will only be able to hold about a quarter cup of food at a time. If you eat too much, you may have complications such as nausea and vomiting.

For the first month or two after surgery you will be able to eat very little and will have to slowly add foods to your diet. Your surgeon and/or dietician will work with you to:

  • make smart food choices
  • teach you about changing how you chew and swallow your food
  • advise you on what foods to avoid
  • help you recognize when you are full
  • increase your physical activity

In addition to making changes to your diet, you will need to make regular follow-up visits to your doctor to monitor your progress and make any adjustments to your band.

It is important to remember that each person will have an individual experience. You may not lose weight or be able to keep lost weight off.


Although every effort is made to educate you on gastric banding surgery, there will be specific information that will be discussed with your surgeon.

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