Blog Posts

Dispelling Lap-Band® myths: Bands don’t work

December 19, 2019

There are a number of myths out in the world that make claims about the Lap-Band® Procedure. One of those misconceptions is that the Lap-Band System does not work. In fact, though every patient experience is different, there are countless examples of the Lap-Band being a successful long-term weight-loss tool.

The perception of some people is that the Lap-Band provides poor long-term weight loss, weight loss is not durable, and there are better options out there such as the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. The evidence shows that one size does not fit all when it comes to bariatric surgery. Many patients don’t want the risks that are associated with other bariatric surgeries that involve cutting the stomach or rerouting the intestines. They want a customizable and reversible option that has the lowest risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies (i.e., the Lap-Band). Lap-Band has the lowest rate of early postoperative complications and mortality among approved bariatric procedures. Calling it a less effective option is simply not true; everyone is different and one person’s lifestyle may not be suited to one procedure over the other.

Multiple studies completed through the years note the long-term effectiveness of the Lap-Band ranging from two years after the procedure to twenty years after the procedure. After two years, 70% of patients maintained extreme weight loss; after five years, 60%; after fifteen years, 47%; and after twenty years, 49%. Numerous studies also show that comorbid issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, sleep problems, and asthma either improved or resolved after having the Lap-Band Procedure.

In comparison to other bariatric procedures, the Lap-Band holds up. There is a 73% increased risk of nonvertebral fracture after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery compared to gastric banding. When compared to sleeve gastrectomy results, the Lap-Band shows higher rates of maintained weight loss. It’s also the safest operation in terms of complication rate and severity. Balloons and endoscopic procedures have temporary results and lower weight loss.

To talk to a LAP-BAND Specialist in your area, call 1-800-LAPBAND.


  • ASMBS. Bariatric Surgery Procedures.
  • Elaine, W.Y., Kim, S.C., Sturgeon, D.J., Lindeman, K.G. and Weissman, J.S., 2019. Fracture Risk After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass vs Adjustable Gastric Banding Among Medicare Beneficiaries. JAMA Surgery.
  • Golomb, Inbal & Ben David, Matan & Glass, Adi & Kolitz, Tamara & Keidar, Andrei. (2015). Long-term Metabolic Effects of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. JAMA surgery. 150. 10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2202.
  • Lauti, M., Kularatna, M., Hill, A.G. et al. (2016) Weight Regain Following Sleeve Gastrectomy—a Systematic Review OBES SURG (2016) 26: 1326.
  • Manish S. Parikh, Scott Laker, Matt Weiner, Omid Hajiseyedjavadi, Christine J. Ren, Objective Comparison of Complications Resulting from Laparoscopic Bariatric Procedures, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Volume 202, Issue 2, 2006, Pages 252-261
  • Michaelson, et. al. Obesity (2013) 21:1148-1158
  • Ray et. al. “Safety, Efficacy, and Durability of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding in a Single Surgeon U.S. Community Practice.” Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 7 (2011) 140-144
  • O’Brien, Annemarie Hindle, Leah Brennan, Stewart Skinner, Paul Burton, et al. “Long-Term Outcomes After Bariatric Surgery: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Weight Loss at 10 or More Years for All Bariatric Procedures and a Single-Centre Review of 20-Year Outcomes After Adjustable Gastric Banding.” Obesity Surgery. The Journal of Metabolic Surgery and Allied Care. Published online: 06 October 2018.
  • Dixon et. al. “Marked Improvement in Asthma after Lap-Band Surgery for Morbid Obesity.” Obesity Surgery, 9, 385-389
  • Dixon “Health Outcomes of Severely Obese Type 2 Diabetic Subjects 1 Year After Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding.” Diabetes Care 25:358-363, 2002
  • Dixon et. al. “Sleep Disturbance and Obesity. Changes Following Surgically Induced Weight Loss.” Arch Intern Med 2001:161:102-106
  • Dixon et. al. “Gastroesophageal Reflux in Obesity: The Effect of Lap-Band Placement.” Obesity Surgery, 9, 527-531

©2019 ReShape Lifesciences Inc        All Rights Reserved                 Part Number 04-0506 Rev. A

The Latest

Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems are approved for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 30 with health conditions related to obesity, who have not seen success with other weight loss methods, like supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs. Choosing this surgery means committing to changes in eating habits for the long term.

The Lap-Band procedure is not approved for individuals under 18 yo, those with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or lead to poor results, such as inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, problems with the stomach and digestion, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, scarring of the liver, individuals unable or unwilling to follow the necessary dietary restrictions, individuals with alcohol or drug addictions, or those currently pregnant. Individuals who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems, a long-term tool, may need to be adjusted if you get pregnant, sick, or malnourished. Be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs as they could make the band wear away. Like any surgery, placement of the Lap-Band may have complications such as risks from drugs and methods used, general surgery risks, how well your body handles a foreign object, or in rare cases, risk of death.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with metabolic and bariatric surgery that you and your doctor should discuss. Potential risks associated with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach blockage, constipation, swallowing difficulty, diarrhea, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weakness, incision pain, infection, fever, hernia, chest pain, band movement, stomach pouch expansion, unusual healing, pain at the port site, port movement, and/or hair loss. Additional surgery might be needed. Losing weight quickly could lead to complications requiring more surgery. 

Talk to your doctor, and/or visit our website at for more information on its benefits and risks.