In adjustable gastric band (AGB) surgery, a restrictive band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, forming a small pouch with a narrow opening to the lower stomach. An access port connected to the band is placed deep under the skin. The band causes food to be retained in the upper pouch for a longer period of time causing you to eat less. There is no change in the way food is absorbed. Still, vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken because you will be eating less food.

The band requires adjustments depending on your appetite and symptoms.   If the band is too tight, you may have reflux, nausea, and vomiting. If it is not full enough, you will be able to eat too much and it won’t be effective. Initially, the band may need to be adjusted monthly until the best fill level is reached. This procedure results in slower weight loss over a longer time (up to three years). Weight loss relies more on behavior and choices than on body reactions, so you must be consistent about making healthy food choices and exercising regularly. Regular visits with a registered dietitian to learn weight management skills are encouraged.

Image of adjustable gastric band (AGB) - bariatric surgery

Possible Advantages

  • No malabsorption
  • Removable only if medically necessary
  • Less of a risk of malabsorption

Possible Disadvantages

  • More follow up visits
  • Band adjustments may not be covered by all insurances
  • Less and slower weight loss than gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy on average
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