Lap-Band Surgery

How the LAP-BAND® System Works

LapBanding diagramLap Band weight loss surgery helps you lose weight and maintain weight-loss by reducing appetite and slowing digestion. It is the least invasive surgical weight-loss procedure and the laparoscopic technique means less pain, a shorter recovery time and minimal scarring.

During the procedure, your surgeon will place an inflatable silicone ring around the upper part of your stomach. The ring creates a small upper stomach pouch which limits the amount of food you can eat, and narrows the stomach outlet, increasing the time it takes for your stomach to digest food. The end result is that you will feel full sooner, and stay full longer.

The band is adjustable, allowing your stomach to be kept at the exact size you need to achieve healthy, long term weight loss. An access port beneath your skin allows your surgeon to make adjustments to the tightness of the band by adding or removing saline.

The band is intended to be permanent, but it can be removed if needed, and your stomach will return to its original form and function.

Watch the Lap-Band Education Video.

Advantages of the LAP-BAND® System

It works. A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal recommends weight loss surgery as an acceptable option for individuals for whom all other conventional weight loss methods have failed. The LAP-BAND® System is an excellent option for effective long-term weight loss. To date, there have been more than 300,000 LAP-BAND® System procedures performed worldwide.
Minimal trauma. The LAP-BAND® System is the least invasive surgical option for weight loss. There’s no cutting or stapling of the stomach wall or bowel, and the laparoscopic technique means less pain, a shorter recovery time and minimal scarring.
Adjustability. Tightening or loosening the band ensures the right degree of restriction to achieve healthy, long-term weight loss. Should you become pregnant or ill, the band can be loosened to accommodate your nutritional requirements, then tightened again after you’ve given birth or recovered from your illness so you can easily get back on the road to weight loss.
Reversibility. Although the band is intended to be permanent, it can be removed if needed, and your stomach will return to its original form and function.
Fewer risks. When compared to other obesity surgeries like gastric bypass or vertical banded gastroplasty, there is a much lower risk of complication and nutritional deficiencies.

1 Year Patient Follow-Up

It is important to keep in mind that the Lap Band is only a tool to help you achieve your weight loss goals. To achieve the best results, you will also need to follow a program of regular check-ups, ongoing gastric band adjustments, and have the dedication and determination to change your lifestyle for the better.

Adjusting the band

The first adjustment usually occurs about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Your patient care adviser will let you know exactly when you need to come in. Each adjustment is a simple procedure that’s performed without surgery during an office visit.

During the adjustment, a thin needle is used to inject or withdraw saline from the band via the access port. Your surgeon will take into account how much weight you have lost, the amount of food you can comfortably eat, your exercise routine, and the amount of fluid already in your band before determining if you need an adjustment.


All medical procedures carry the possibility of risks and complications, most commonly bleeding and infection. Using the LAP-BAND® System includes the same risks that come with all major medical procedures. There are also added risks in any procedure for patients who are seriously overweight. Your surgeon will discuss those risks with you as part of your assessment.

During the procedure, there is a very small potential for injury of the stomach, esophagus, liver or spleen or major blood loss. Rarely, this may require that the surgeons move from laparoscopic surgery to the conventional open approach. Heart, liver or kidney disease can increase the risks of the surgery. Death is always a risk of any surgery.

A number of recent studies agree that the LAP-BAND® System procedure is the safest surgical option for treating obesity. Complications are usually not serious, though some may require hospitalization and additional surgery.

Potential complications from LAP-BAND® System surgery may include band slippage (occurs in 1-2% of patients) or band erosion (occurs in less than 1 in 1000 patients). Very rarely, they may include port site pain or displacement and leakage of the reservoir, tubing or band.

The Personal Cost of Obesity

Weight loss can change your life. Losing dangerous excess weight with the LAP-BAND® System can significantly improve your health and enhance your psychological and social well-being – not to mention your overall quality of life. Dramatic weight loss can also significantly reduce weight-related costs, which on average can be more than $16,000 a year per person. You owe it to yourself to take control of your weight-loss and your financial health.

Weight-Related ExpensesEstimated Annual Costs
Medical/drug costs (BMI>35)1$7158
Employment inactivity costs2$1080
Commercial weight-loss program fees3$720
Prescription co-pays (5 meds, $10 each)$720
Grocery and dining costs4$6385
  1. Health Management Research Center, University of Michigan, 2001.
  2. Colditz, GA. Economic costs of obesity and inactivity. Med Science Sports Exercise, 1999.
  3. Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., October 2002.
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditures, 2001.

Learn more about Lap Band on the Smart Shape website.

Lap-Band Surgery last modified: February 16th, 2016 by Centric Health

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