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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 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.