The Lap-Band® Blog

Dispelling Lap-Band® Myths: High Erosion Rates


If you’ve done any research into the Lap-Band® System, it’s likely that you’ve run across a few myths. It’s understandable to have questions before you take such a leap into your weight-loss journey. It’s time to set the record straight about Lap-Band and erosion rates.

Myth: LAP-BAND has a high erosion rate.

As with any major surgery, there are risks and the potential for complications. Some risks are associated with the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implant in the body. While band slippage and erosion can happen, the rates aren’t nearly as high as believed. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, can contribute to an increased risk of band erosion. They should be used with caution.*

Some people have the wrong impression that all gastric bands are being removed because there is a high rate of erosion. Five-year results of prospectively enrolled patients in a US multi-center registry were published in 2013. Patients with the Lap-Band had a significant drop in their BMI. Among potential complications, the erosion rate was minor at 0.5%. A five-year, results of a multicenter, longitudinal prospective post-approval international study were published in 2015.  The results showed that the majority of device-related events were mild (53.2%). The explant rate was 2.7% after the first year, and 5.4% after 54 months. This shows a low explant rate through five years. Study authors concluded that the Lap-Band Procedure is safe and effective for people with a BMI of 30-39.9. Not only did co-morbid health issues improve, patients also reported an improved quality of life. A similar study published in 2018 revealed that, of 3,554 patients, only 114 patients experience erosion of the band into the gastric lumen for a rate of 3.2%.

The upgraded Lap-Band Device and high band placement, as well as an approach that is proven superior, have resulted in fewer complications with the procedure (namely: rates of erosion). Additionally, aftercare maintenance has improved. The explant rate for the Lap-Band AP era is only 5.5% (N = 1896) and the erosion rate is only 0.69% according to studies conducted in 2018.

*Refer to Lap-Band® System Safety Information for more information


  • Safety and Effectiveness of LAP-BAND AP System: Results of Helping Evaluate Reduction in Obesity (HERO) Prospective Registry Study at 1 Year. Cobourn, Chris et al. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Volume 217, Issue 5, 907 – 918 
  • JB Dixon, L L Eaton, V Vincent, R Michaelson, for the LAPBAND Lower BMI Study Group, LAP-BANDs for BMI 30–40: 5-year health outcomes from the multicenter pivotal study, International Journal of Obesity.
  • 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. O’Brien, Paul E. et. Al. Obesity Surgery, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 3-14 .

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