Adjustable Gastric Band


The Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB) was first approved by the FDA for use in the United States in 2003 after being used for many years in other parts of the world. Initially, many patients and surgeons were enthusiastic about this procedure because, on average, it had a lower rate of early post-operative complications compared to more complex bariatric procedures.

How it’s done

The Adjustable Gastric Band is a synthetic device meant to remain in your body for life. The band is “buckled” around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small stomach “pouch” above the band. The band is connected by a long tube to the access Port which is secured onto the abdominal wall muscle under the skin.

How it works

The AGB has an inflatable chamber around its entire inner surface that rests against the stomach wall. In the office each month after surgery, sterile water is injected into the Port, causing gradual inflation of the band chamber, restricting the passage of food from the pouch through the small opening (caused by inflation of the band) into the remainder of the stomach. This is meant to reduce the amount of food you eat and reduce your calorie intake each day.

It is important to realize that the AGB causes no changes in the hormonal factors affecting hunger or satiety and will not prevent you from eating or drinking improper high calorie foods or liquids.

How well it works

On average, the AGB results in losing about 45% of excess body weight and this weight loss is very gradual, about one or two pounds per week. Therefore, about 75% of all AGB patients will never lose more than half of their excess weight and may lose less. In addition, compared to Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy, AGB is less effective at eliminating other obesity-related medical disorders. Adjustable Gastric Band also requires monthly office visits for at least 12 months to adjust the band
and closely monitor your progress.

Important to know before you decide on a “band”…

Since the ABG was first introduced, other bariatric surgeries have become significantly safer and are more effective than the AGB. Although the Adjustable Gastric Band continues to be a very safe operation, it is the bariatric procedure associated with the greatest risk of requiring a re-operation for a “late” complication, such as a prolapse (or “slipped” band). This can occur several months or even years after the band was initially inserted and usually requires removal of the AGB, which often results in regaining weight. In addition, the AGB has the highest failure rate (defined by the number of patients who either lose less than 25% of their excess weight and/ or require removal of the band because of a complication) of all the bariatric operations. Therefore, Phoenix Bariatric Center no longer recommends nor performs Adjustable Gastric Band surgery. However, we do perform Laparoscopic Gastric Band removal and revision to either Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass or Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy.

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“I had a weight problem for most of my adult life. One day, while sitting on my couch feeling totally disgusted with myself, I saw an ad on TV for the gastric band. Right then, I decided to get something done.

At my first appointment, I chose to have a gastric bypass instead, after Dr. Sprunger explained the benefits and results of this surgery compared to the gastric band. After my Gastric Bypass in September of 2012, I lost 80 pounds in 5 months.

I am ecstatic that I went ahead with the gastric bypass. I never get hungry and have no desire for sweets or fried foods. I’m perfectly happy eating the small amount of food that I now eat. I feel better than I have in years and my attitude about myself has improved 200%!

Look out world, here I come!”

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