Out of all weight loss procedures available, adjustable gastric band is one of the least invasive. This procedure does not alter the stomach and intestines in any way. In fact, adjustable gastric band is only an implant that can be removed after patients achieve the ideal weight.

Adjustable gastric band, also called lap band and realize band, is a great choice for patients looking for a procedure that can be reversed. The implant is a soft silicone ring that can be adjusted in terms of tightness. This ring creates a small pouch on the upper part of the stomach. By creating this small stomach pouch, patients can only eat a small amount of food.

This has very few complications and side effects because there are no physical changes made on the stomach and intestines. While losing weight may not be as immediate or significant compared to other procedures, adjustable gastric band procedure has its own merits. Learn more about this procedure and its benefits here.


Adjustable gastric band procedure creates two compartments on the stomach, a small upper pouch and the larger, lower stomach. The ring as attached to a very narrow tube and a port under the skin. The ring can be tightened through injecting fluid on the port. This allows doctors to tighten the ring according to the desired diameter. With this, passage of food from the upper small pouch into the large remaining stomach can be controlled.

There is very little risk of malabsorption with adjustable gastric band. Since food still passes through the stomach and small intestine, they are still digested properly. However, because patients can only eat a small amount of food before they feel full, they can still achieve the ideal weight within a few months or years.


Because adjustable gastric band is minimally invasive and reversible, it is a popular option for surgeons and patients. The ring can be adjusted to achieve the desired diameter. This controls how slow the food goes into the lower stomach. Adjusting the ring can be done once a month and it is an in-office treatment that does not require surgery.

There are very few side effects and complications with this procedure compared to other weight loss surgeries. There is low risk of malabsorption because adjustable gastric band allows for proper digestion since there are no changes made in the stomach and intestines. Patients do not experience any hormonal changes or metabolic effects after the procedure as well.

Side Effects

Just like other weight loss procedures, patients can experience chronic nausea and vomiting. This can be caused by the tightness of the band. To reduce these side effects, patient can opt for a wider diameter. While complications during the procedure are rare, it can still happen. These complications include minor bleeding and infection of the wound.

Since this is the least invasive procedure, adjustable gastric banding also has lower success rate for immediate weight loss. The results may show up within years. Patients are also required to go for monthly check-ups to ensure that the band is in place and there are no issues with it.