Image by and used with permission from Johnson & Johnson
Adjustable Gastric Band

Gastric Banding & Lap 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)!

According to the National Health & Medical Research Council, "surgery is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity: for most procedures and most patients, good weight maintenance has been observed three to eight years after surgery". Obesity surgery is often called bariatric surgery.

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.

Adjustable Gastric LapBand Surgery

Gastric Band Adjustment


Trudy Williams is very experienced in gastric banding and other weight loss surgery. She can help you.

Since 1996, Wesley Nutrition Centre's dietitians maintained a special interest in lapbanding, adjustable gastric bands and other obesity weight loss (bariatric) surgeries. 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 attended the Obesity Surgeons Society Australia and New Zealand Conference (OSSANZ) on Qld's Gold Coast in Oct 2013 to find out the latest in bariatric surgery techniques (all forms of bariatric surgery - experimental and approved) and to share her food and nutrition knowledge with colleagues. She presented a nutrition paper at the OSSANZ conference in Darwin, Northern Territory, in April 2012 and attended the OSSANZ Conference in Nov 2010.

In July 2011, Trudy changed her dietetic practice and is no longer seeing individual clients in rooms. 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 dreamed 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. Trudy is updating one of her gastric band books and will soon add a gastric sleeve title to her shop. Keep your eyes peeled.

Trudy Williams is an invited presenter at professional meetings and registered mentor for dietetic colleagues. Some of her more important presentations and peer-reviewed works include:

  • 6-8th September, 2013. Invited presenter in Bariatric Surgery Workshops and Ask the Expert panel at the inaugural iNova National GP Obesity Forum in Sydney.
  • Australian Family Physician, Vol 42, No 8, Aug 2013. The bariatric surgery patient - nutritional considerations. Co-authored with Caroline Shannon and Ashlee Gervasoni.
  • March 1, 2013. Trudy presented a professional update lecture about Diabetes and Bariatric Surgery to an audience of dietitians.
  • July 2012, Trudy is an invited blogger at Allergan's support site. 
  • April 2012, Trudy Williams presented at the OSSANZ Conference in Darwin.
  • July 2010, Trudy was the Guest Speaker at the GP's Professional Development Symposium about Diabetes and Obesity Surgery in Brisbane.
  • March 2010, Trudy presented at the Diabetes Qld Update for dietitians about the impact of obesity surgery on food, nutrition and the individual.
  • July 2009, Trudy presented at the Sydney National Update event for Allergan's team.
  • November 2008, Trudy presented the nutrition component at the Allergan Patient Management Day for physicians and health professionals in Brisbane
  • November 2007, Trudy presented at the 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand held in Western Australia.
  • September 2006, Wesley Nutrition Centre's dietitians (Trudy and Diana Barr) presented at the prestigious congress, the International Federation for The Surgery of Obesity. The topic: Volumetric energy content of foods and adjustable gastric banding. Essentially, this paper addressed two key issues - how much food and fuel really 'fits' into a baby stomach pouch and the illusion of serve size.

For more information about adjustable gastric bands, to find a surgeon or work out your body mass index (BMI), visit: (Australia) (Australia) (USA)


To find out whether gastric banding will benefit you at a Brisbane seminar please email or call 07 3371 4333 or 3371 9521 to find out when the next seminar is planned.