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 Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here or talk with your doctor.