Adjustable Gastric Banding
Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB) is made of an inert plastic material and is placed around the top of the stomach. A thin tube connects the band to the reservoir, which is implanted under the skin. The reservoir can be accessed in the office with a needle to inflate or deflate the band; therefore, it is one of the only surgical options that is adjustable.
Contrary to what many people think, adjustability does not mean that one can “dial-in” the amount of weight loss an individual would like to achieve. The band is adjusted only until less hunger or satiety is achieved. This operation has the advantages of being technically less challenging for most surgeons to perform.
Although it has been used for over 15 years, the long term results and re-operation rates have already been concerning. It is less effective than other operations in terms of weight loss and metabolic effect (treatment of diabetes, etc.).
Although the AGB can be difficult to remove, this choice is considered reversible, meaning that removal restores normal anatomical function.
The AGB can deliver good results, but only with very close follow-up and proper adjustments. The complications of this operation include migration or erosion of the band, slippage of the port, which requires additional surgery to correct.