Self-adjusting gastric bands

At the Obesity Surgeon's Conference that I attended in April, 2012, there was some discussion about a new tubing for gastric bands that adjusts itself. That would mean fewer or no more trips to the doctor for an injection to adjust the band! The slef-adjusting band hasn't arrived yet (Oct 2013) but it is still in the pipeline.

The trial names of 'self-adjusting' and 'self-modulating' are no where near as clever as the concept. And the good news is that developers hope that this special tubing will be able to be retro-fitted to existing bands, if all goes well in the development and testing stages.

 

For me, and for those with an adjustable gastric band, this is an exciting development because it is a challenge to keep the intra gastric band pressure (IGP) 'just right' inside the band - not so tight that it causes blockages or regurgitation but not so loose that it doesn't take hunger away.

 

With time, the IGP drops. With air travel, the IGP changes. Changes in IGP may also explain differences in food tolerances at different times of the day. At the moment, after an over-adjustment or blockage, the band is loosened (pressure backed off) to make it more comfortable but after that event it is sometimes difficult to get the band back to the 'just right' fill stage.

  

With the self-adjusting or self-modulating tubing and bands, fluid can move in and out of the band and along the length of the tubing in response to pressures felt within the band itself - like squishing and moving the air inside the length of a child's long sausage-shaped balloon.

 

Tests with the new tubing suggests that the need for adjustments could be fewer, there is a slower decay in intra-gastric pressure, the tubing allows pressure inside the band to remain the same so once the 'green zone' is found it is easier to keep the person and their band in the zone, and with obstruction the self-adjusting tubing releases pressure to relieve the blockage and then returns the intra-gastric pressure back to the pressure that was present before the obstruction.

  

I wonder if this ability to self-modulate will reduce the band's power to help owners learn from negative feedback about their I wonder if this ability to self-modulate will reduce the band's power to help owners learn from negative feedback about their eating style (rate and volume) or whether the band will still have time to give the feedback before gradually adjusting itself.

 

There's a lot more to learn and understand about this future in gastric band tubing.eating style (rate and volume) or whether the band will still have time to give the feedback before gradually adjusting itself.