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Gastric Band is a type of Bariatric Surgery to treat obesity. This procedure shrinks the stomach to make a person feels full after eating less food. It is a minimally invasive, reversible, and adjustable procedure and involves placing an inflatable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach. A plastic tube is attached to the band and is accessible through a device just under the skin of the abdomen. Using this device, the surgeon can inject a saline solution into the band to inflate it. The silicone band will squeeze the stomach and creates a small pouch with about an inch-wide outlet. The smaller pouch reduces the amount of food that can be held in the stomach at one time.
This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, it only takes thirty to sixty minutes to complete. The patient may go straight home on the same day of the surgery once the effects of the anesthesia wear off. However, patients should plan to stay in the Merbok for around 14 days to allow initial recovery and follow-up checkups. It takes around four to six weeks to fully recover after this surgery. During the recovery period, patients cannot have solid food, but they can get back to their normal routine after two days. It is important to follow the doctor’s aftercare instruction to take care of yourself at home.
The success rate of this procedure is around 80%. An average person loses 0.5kg to 1kg per week after the procedure. The patient can lose 22kgs to 45kgs within one year with this type of surgery. However, it is best to know the risks associated with the procedure. For example, the band can slip or have mechanical problems, and it may erode the stomach. The alternatives to this surgery are a gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and gastric balloons.