The Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band is done by keyhole surgery. It is totally reversable if need be (no internal parts are removed). A band with an expandable inner balloon is placed on the upper stomach, creating a small pouch. A tube runs from the band to a small port sewn into the stomach muscle, so that saline can be easily injected to tighten the band & create restriction. You feel full after a small meal, & fullness is retained as it takes some time for the food to go through the small opening into the lower stomach. The band can be loosened for pregnancy, maintaining after weight loss, or any other reason. A 'fill' or 'unfill' is very quick & painless.
In Gastric Bypass surgery, the stomach is actually cut to a smaller size, & part of the small intestine is bypassed, so that fewer calories are absorbed into the body.
I chose Lap Band surgery, & it is by far the best thing I have ever done for my health. No regrets at all! I had it done 5 1/2 months ago, & have lost 33kg, with 27 to go.
It is a 'tool' not a cure. I work out at the gym regularly, & have to be mindful of getting enough protein, & not taking in too many liquid calories. Things like icecream, & high-calorie drinks will go through the band without much feeling of fullness.
Having said that, diets have never worked in the long term for me. I've lost lots of weight on them, only to regain when I go off the diet, so, I don't diet anymore. Nothing is 'bad' or 'off-limits'. I eat normal, mostly healthy foods, but still have a treat every now & then. Rather than a huge block of choc like the old days, I buy a small bar, eat it slowly (as bandits do!) & I'm satisfied. I love my band!!!
As with any medical procedure, there can be risks, complications or problems. I believe that if you do your research first, & follow the basic banding rules & Dr's orders, you can greatly minimise risks & increase success.
There is lots of great banding info - the good, the bad & the ugly, from those who have been there - here: