During the gastric banding procedure, Emory surgeons place an inflatable silicone band around the top portion of the patient’s stomach to create a small gastric pouch. When a patient eats, food first passes through the pouch before proceeding through the normal digestive cycle. The gastric band limits the amount of food that can enter the stomach at one time, and creates a more immediate feeling of fullness.
Doctors adjust how much patients can eat by injecting the gastric band with a saline solution to expand or contract it. Since the digestive process remains the same once food passes through the pouch, the body continues normal nutritional absorption.