Banding is a medical procedure which uses elastic bands for constriction. Banding may be used to tie off blood vessels in order to stop bleeding, as in the treatment of bleeding esophageal varices. The band restricts blood flow to the ligated tissue, so that it eventually dies and sloughs away from the supporting tissue. This same principle underlies banding as treatment for hemorrhoids.
Banding may also be used to restrict the function of an organ without killing it. In gastric banding to treat obesity, the size of the stomach is reduced so that digestion is slowed and the patient feels full more quickly.
Gastric banding: A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, commonly referred to as a lap band, is an inflatable silicone device surgically implanted around the top portion of the stomach to help a person lose weight. A band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch that can hold only a small amount of food. The narrowed opening between the stomach pouch and the rest of the stomach controls how quickly food passes from the pouch to the lower part of the stomach. The system helps the patient eat less by limiting the amount of food that can be eaten at one time and increasing the time it takes for food to be digested.
Depending on the patient's needs, after the device is implanted the narrowed opening between the pouch and the lower part of the stomach can be adjusted in size by inflating or deflating the hollow band. Inflating the band makes the opening smaller, causing food to pass more slowly. Deflating the band makes it wider, causes food to pass more quickly. This adjustment is made by adding or removing fluid inside the hollow band. The doctor does this by injecting or removing the fluid through a small button-like part called the access port. This access port is placed under the skin in a muscle in the chest wall. The port is connected to the band by the tubing.