Are There Alternatives to a Gastric Band?

There are several alternatives to a Gastric Band procedure. However, if the patient's BMI (Body Mass Index) is around 30, then it is often the most indicated. One direct and restrictive alternative for the patient with lower BMI is the Intra-Gastric Balloon. This is a silicone balloon that sits in the stomach for a period of up to 6 months. The mechanics of the weight loss are exactly the same as with a Gastric Band; the natural stomach volume is reduced.

Additionally, the balloon is placed via a non-surgical procedure and therefore may be more convenient for some patients. However, the balloon only stays in for 6 months and is most suitable for those overweight patients in the lower BMI ranges. Another restrictive procedure is the Sleeve Gastrectomy. In this operation, the anatomy of the patient is permanently altered in that the stomach is made smaller and into the shape of a sleeve the size and shape of a banana. This operation permanently restricts the volume of food intake by the patient.