Weight Loss Surgery > Types of Surgery > Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band > Who Are Adjustable Gastric Band Candidates?

Who Are Adjustable Gastric Band Candidates?

The adjustable gastric band is not right for everyone. Here are some of the things we will consider when evaluating your candidacy for obesity surgery.

Indications

The adjustable gastric band may be right for you if:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • Your BMI is 40 or higher; or you weigh at least twice your ideal weight; or you weigh at least 100 pounds more than your ideal weight. If you do not meet the BMI or weight criteria, you still may be considered for surgery if your BMI is at least 35 and you have serious health problems related to obesity.
  • Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.
  • You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
  • You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle, including exercise.
  • You are willing to continue being monitored by the specialist who is treating you.
  • You do not smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

The adjustable gastric band is not right for you if:

  • You have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, severe esophagitis or Crohn's disease.
  • You have severe heart or lung disease that makes you a poor candidate for surgery.
  • You have some other disease that makes you a poor candidate for surgery.
  • You have a problem that could cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach. This might include esophageal or gastric varices (a dilated vein). It might also be something such as congenital or acquired intestinal telangiectasia (dilation of a small blood vessel).
  • You have portal hypertension.
  • Your esophagus, stomach or intestine is not normal (congenital or acquired). For instance, you might have a narrowed opening.
  • You have or have experienced an intra-operative gastric injury, such as a gastric perforation at or near the location of the intended band placement.
  • You have cirrhosis.
  • You have chronic pancreatitis.
  • You are pregnant. (If you become pregnant after the adjustable gastric band has been placed, the band may need to be deflated. The same is true if you need more nutrition for any other reason, such as becoming seriously ill. In rare cases, removal may be needed.)
  • You are addicted to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.
  • You are under 18 years of age.
  • You have an infection anywhere in your body or one that could contaminate the surgical area.
  • You are on chronic, long-term steroid treatment.
  • You cannot or do not want to follow the dietary rules that come with this procedure.
  • You might be allergic to materials in the device.
  • You cannot tolerate pain from an implanted device.
  • You or someone in your family has an autoimmune connective tissue disease. That might be a disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma. The same is true if you have symptoms of one of these diseases.

Your Motivation

While the adjustable gastric band is an effective treatment for morbid obesity, the pounds do not come off by themselves. The adjustable gastric band is only an aid to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion. However, your motivation and commitment to adopt a new lifestyle are extremely important for long-term weight loss. New eating habits must be adhered to for the rest of your life. Exercise is an equally important component of a changed lifestyle.

WARNINGS:

The adjustable gastric band is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required at some time. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Patients should NOT expect to lose weight as fast as gastric bypass patients, and band inflation should proceed in small increments. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion or stomach ulceration.

ADVERSE EVENTS:

Placement of the adjustable gastric band is major surgery and, like any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, injury to surrounding abdominal organs, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient's ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Band slippage, erosion and deflation; obstruction of the stomach; dilation of the esophagus; infection; or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that can require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.