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Dispelling Lap-Band® myths: High erosion rates

September 19, 2019

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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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.