16 August 2008

There has recently been a remarkable development in stomach banding technology. The Telemetric Adjustable Gastric Band (TAGB), also known as the Easyband, uses sophisticated electronics to avoid many of the risks and side effects that patients experience with traditional banding techniques.

Currently available gastric bands are silicone devices which work on the principle of hydraulics. An adjustment port is placed under the skin of the abdominal wall and, using a needle and syringe, the doctor can adjust the tightness of the stomach banding by either introducing or removing fluid from the system. Because adjustment always involves needle puncture of the access port, there is a risk of infection being introduced into the band, and some patients find the procedure uncomfortable.

The Easyband (TAGB) uses sophisticated electronics to close or open the band without the need for an access port of any kind. The access port is replaced by a simple electronic receiver, through which the telemetric signal is directed to either open or close the band.

The Easyband has been clinically evaluated and shown to be both safe and effective. Percentage excess weight loss has proven to be at least as high as with conventional “hydraulic” stomach banding, and may well be higher due to improved patient compliance with band adjustments.

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