In gastric band surgery, a silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach and inflated so that the opening to the stomach is reduced to less than 1 cm. This severely limits the volume of food and the size of the food particles that can enter the stomach. Patients with gastric bands must eat slowly, consume very small meals, and chew their food thoroughly.
Complications are common with gastric banding. In one large study that followed 299 patients for three years, 88% of the patients had one or more adverse events. More than half experienced nausea and vomiting. Almost 25% of the patients had the band slip or their stomach pouch enlarged, often requiring a second surgery to correct the problem. Approximately 14% developed a stomach blockage at the site of the band. By three years, 25% of the patients studied had their bands removed.3
3 Lap-band PMA study.