A gastric band is a type of device that wraps a silicone inflatable band around the top most portion of the stomach, thereby regulating all potential food intakes into that person’s stomach. It is a type of radical weight loss surgery that is only performed on people with a BMI, or body mass index of a certain number (usually 40 or above). This is because some people would take advantage of the device to try and lose weight that they do not necessarily need to for any medical reason. The Gastric band did not just evolve overnight, however, it came from a long line of research and development to make it into the device that it is today.
The device first came into practical use at the end of the 1970s where a scientist wanted to regulate food intake by directly binding the stomach somehow. Several doctors tried to bind the stomach with a Marlex Mesh binding. This did work, but it came with its own amount of complications, often causing the stomach to break the weak binding of the mesh. This prompted scientists to move on to something sturdier during the research that took place during the 1980s.
The mesh was used for a long time in many different countries until scientists began to try and fashion a band out of the water proof material known as gore-tex. However, this particular material was too sturdy and caused too many complications within the stomach. After more research, doctors and scientists began to use what is now known as the silicone binding that all gastric bands are made out of today. They do come with their own potential complications, but they are by far the safest and most effective gastric band type obesity surgery on the market.