Stomach Band Approach to Weight Loss
In the past few years the FDA has approved the use of several stomach
band solutions for the severely obese.
These surgically implanted devices are designed to restrict the size of
the stomach and consequently help people achieve their weight loss
There are about eight stomach banding solutions on the market including
the Lap-Band manufactured by BioEnterics Corporation.
The Lap-Band is an inflatable band that is put on the upper stomach
using microscopic surgery. The band is inflated with saline and can be
adjusted to suit individual patient needs.
Recommended for use on patients who are at least 100 lbs overweight,
the Lap-Band is not your every day solution to weight loss. Rather it
is intended for those who are suffering from, or at risk for, life
threatening conditions related to their obesity.
How it Works
The upper stomach is banded to restrict the amount of food that it can
hold. Once the uppers stomach reaches its capacity, a signal is sent
from the stomach to the brain indicating fullness. The theory is when
you feel full, you stop eating.
There is a little port in the stomach band which is accessible from
under the skin. Saline is injected through the port with a special
needle to control the amount of inflation in the band, thus making the
stomach pouch smaller or larger. Adjusting the band is a fine art that
is carefully controlled for each individual patient. The physician
seeks to find a good balance between the amount of weight loss the
patient can achieve and the amount of fluid needed to control the band.
Once patients lose weight the band can remain in place, but in
order to maintain weight loss once it has been achieved, patients must
continue to diet and exercise like the rest of us or they will gain
weight back, again, just like the rest of us.
There are also side effects from stomach banding. Nausea and vomiting
are fairly common. It is not unusual to experience a certain amount of
heartburn and abdominal pain due the use of the stomach band. There can
also be complications, such as the band slipping, or the stomach pouch
created by the band becoming enlarged. About one quarter of patients
choose to have the band removed due to adverse side effects and lack of
Results Get Mixed Reviews
Does stomach banding work? Studies show that not all patients lose
weight with the stomach band, some lose large amounts of weight while
others only lose small amounts. A small percentage don’t lose any
weight at all. However, comparisons with other bariatric surgical
methods, such as gastric bypass surgery, suggest that banding
is the best solution so far regarding surgical intervention to regulate
Like all other dieting methods, even a surgically implanted stomach
band requires the patient to commit to weight loss, and follow through
with diet and exercise. There are no easy solutions out there for us.
No magic pill, no revolutionary surgical technique, that will help us
if we can’t find willpower, motivation and determination to succeed.
Even Stomach Band weight loss requires new habits