What is a Gastric Band
The gastric band is a surgical treatment option to lose weight. A gastric band narrows the upper part of the stomach, creating a so-called forestomach. If this forestomach is filled with a small amount of food, the stomach wall stretches and a quick and long-lasting feeling of satiety develops. As a result, the patient eats significantly less than before.
How the Gastric Band Works
The gastric band is placed just below the entrance to the stomach during a laparoscopy. This divides the stomach into a forestomach with a capacity of 20-30 ml. The rapid filling of the forestomach leads to a rapid feeling of satiety. In addition, the patient is forced to chew very well, because only the pulpy, well chewed food can pass through the remaining opening into the rest of the stomach for further digestion.
The gastric band consists of a soft silicone ring that is connected to a so-called port chamber via a tube. After the operation, the gastric band can be filled via this port chamber and thus its size can be individually adapted to the patient’s needs. The port chamber is placed under the skin that lies over the straight abdominal muscle. This means that there are no restrictions on sporting activities after the operation.
Who is a Good Candidate for Gastric Band
The gastric band in Turkey is suitable for people who suffer from severe obesity. The body mass index (BMI) can serve as a criteria for how pronounced the obesity is. The insertion of a gastric band should only take place from a BMI of 35 or more. If additional diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus are present, which can develop as a result of being very overweight and are also risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the gastric band is suitable for people with a BMI of 30 or more.
However, before a gastric band is a possible treatment option for obesity, you should consider lifestyle changes, including dietary changes and increased exercise, or medication if necessary, in consultation with your GP. Only if these measures have not led to any weight reduction within a period of six to twelve months, the use of a gastric band may make sense.
Gastric Band Surgery Complications and Risks
As with any surgical procedure, wound healing problems and infections can occur. If inflammation develops around the gastric band, it is necessary to remove it. Likewise, adhesions can form from the scar tissue. Furthermore, procedure-specific complications of gastric band surgery are known. These include, but are not limited to, injury to the stomach during band insertion, silicone intolerance and formation of pyogenic ducts. In addition, the gastric band can slip and there may be an enlargement of the formed forestomach due to too much food intake.
Furthermore, there is a risk of gastric rupture and the stomach slipping through the band, which can result in gastric distension. Should such procedure-specific complications occur, further surgery is usually required. But don’t worry, it’s still a safe operation and these complications rarely occur.
Preparing For Gastric Band Surgery
To minimise risks and complications after the operation, you should not smoke for about five weeks before the planned operation. Furthermore, you should stop taking medication for diabetes and rheumatism as well as blood-thinning medication beforehand in consultation with your GP. Four weeks before the medical intervention, it is advisable to ensure a low-fat and high-protein diet.
Advantages of the Gastric Band
The insertion of a gastric band is the only minimally invasive surgical procedure that does not lead to vitamin deficiency symptoms. The entire gastrointestinal tract can absorb vitamins and trace elements unchanged.