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Banding the Stomach

Banding the Stomach
Banding the Stomach

For adjustable gastric banding, an adjustable band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. It enables doctors to adjust the size of the passageway for food through the stomach as needed. After a small incision is made in the abdomen, a viewing tube (laparoscope) is inserted. While looking through the laparoscope, the surgeon places the band around the upper part of the stomach. On the inside of the band is an inflatable ring, which is connected to tubing with a small port at the other end. The port is placed just under the skin. A special needle can be inserted into the port through the skin. The needle is used to insert a salt water (saline) solution into the band or to remove it. Thus, the passageway can be made smaller or larger. When the passageway is smaller, the upper part of the stomach fills faster, causing people to feel full more quickly and thus eat less.