Adjustable Gastric Band
Adjustable gastric banding (also called lapbanding) is an effective surgical technique to help massively or morbidly obese people lose weight. Getting a band placed is a smart move if you are massively obese and are prepared to put in some extra effort to get the best life-long results. Getting a gastric band is certainly not an easy way out to lose weight. As many of our clients tell us "it is a great aid and friend. Every day, there will be a new challenge. The band will remind you not only how to eat but how much to eat". To get the best results, anyone with a band still needs to be smart with his or her food choices.
Surgeons use a range of different adjustable gastric bands. The main bands used in Australia are supplied or manufactured by Allergan Health, Johnson & Johnson, and MIDBANDÔ. There are several other brands. Each of these bands has different features and your surgeon may have a preferred band or choose one from a range to suit you. In general terms though, adjustable gastric bands work in very similar ways.
How does an adjustable gastric band work?
The surgeon wraps the band around the top part of the stomach, very close to the food pipe This creates a 'baby' stomach or pouch that is separated from the major stomach by a narrow path. The band can be adjusted (filled or emptied, inflated or deflated) to control hunger. The band is not magical. It does not speed up your metabolism nor change your genetic make-up. It will not make you an exercise lover or force you to choose healthy foods. It will help you achieve your vision for your life - as long as you put in a little effort and work with the band, not against it.
The band will give you feedback about your eating style - your bite size, your pace of eating, your chewing skills and the amount you eat. The band will help you to feel satisfied for longer on smaller volumes of food, providing that food is not mushie, melts too easily, or too crispy/crunchy. Unfortunately, the band will let you down if you drink kilojoules/calories (alcohol, regular soft drink/soda pop, juice, cordial and excess milk), eat mushie sloppy meals (with loads of sauce or mash), indulge in melt-in-the-mouth foods (such as chocolate, ice cream, dessert jelly, yoghurt) or munch crispy snacks (crisps, potato/corn chips, biscuits/crackers, nuts). If you do any of these things you won't lose weight easily. These foods slip past the band quickly and you'll never really feel full.
You'll need to stay alert and understand when the band is working, and if not, why not. Tightening a band to achieve faster weight loss can sometimes backfire. If a band is over-tight, then you might try and live on crispy snacks, liquid energy drinks and rubbish foods because that's all that will go down. An over-tight band won't let you eat healthy food. Quite often the answer to better and further weight loss lies in your own hands (and mouth)!
Visit our shop to order copies of our popular food & nutrition guides for gastric banding, lapbanding and weight reduction.
Watch videos that show how a gastric band works:
To view footage of gastric banding, view these animated videos used with permission from Allergan.
Our team is very experienced in gastric banding and can help you:
Since 1996, Wesley Nutrition Centre's dietitians maintained a special interest in lapbanding, adjustable gastric bands and other obesity (bariatric) surgery. We provided personalised advice for the patients of more than nine surgeons in Brisbane and surrounds and our gastric banding guides are used internationally. Trudy presented at the attended the Obesity Surgeons' Conference in Darwin in April 2012 and attended the OSSANZ Conference in Nov 2010 to find out the latest in bariatric surgery techniques (all forms of obesity surgery) and to share her food and nutrition knowledge with colleagues.
In July 2011, Trudy changed her dietetic practice and is no longer seeing individual clients in rooms. She has big plans and needed to take time to focus on the future. She is working hard on a way to deliver her skills and knowledge to many, many more people right around Australia and the world; people like you who perhaps could only have dreamt of getting to her Brisbane rooms. In the mean time, you might want to get some of her books to help you with your gastric banding journey or book a Skype consult.
Trudy Williams is an invited presenter at professional meetings and registered mentor for dietetic colleagues. Some of her more important presentations include:
For more information about adjustable gastric bands, to find a surgeon or work out your body mass index (BMI), visit: