Gastric banding surgery is a type of Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) procedure performed to limit the amount of food a person can eat. In gastric banding surgery, no part of the stomach is removed and the digestive process remains intact.
This procedure involves attaching an inflatable band around the top portion of the stomach and tightening it like a belt to form a small pouch that serves as a new, much smaller stomach that can hold about one ounce of food. The food from this "new" stomach empties into the closed-off portion of the stomach and then resumes the normal digestive process. Over time, the pouch can expand to hold two to three ounces of food.
After the procedure, the diameter of the band around the stomach can be adjusted by a physician by adding or removing saline (salt water). Because the size of the stomach is reduced so dramatically, this type of procedure is referred to as a restrictive procedure.