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Dispelling the top Lap-Band® System myths

January 2, 2020

By now, you’ve probably completed some research on several bariatric weight-loss procedures. Of course, you’ve probably run across a few myths about Lap-Band®. It’s time to set the record straight and find out the truth.

Myth #1: The band doesn’t work

When compared to Gastric Bypass surgery, there’s the common misconception that the Lap-Band doesn’t work as well. Weight loss may be more gradual with the band than with Gastric Bypass, but it is still effective and much safer. Recent improvements in the surgical technique and aftercare have improved results. Some studies even show that the Lap-Band is more successful than Gastric Bypass after five years.

Myth #2: Weight loss isn’t long-term

Studies of participants up to 20 years after surgery show that weight loss is both substantial and long-term. This is a substantial difference between a medical weight-loss program, which doesn’t show durable results beyond 2 years.

Myth #3: Reoperations are needed

In a study, reoperations were common in all types of bariatric surgery. With improved band and surgical techniques, band reoperation has become far less common. A new technique means that there is less post-operative pain and easier band adjustments. Outcomes are far better.

Myth #4: Removal rates are high

In a December 2018 Dixon study, removal rates were only 8.74% (95% CI; 6.6% – 10.9%). The improved Lap-Band and surgical techniques have greatly reduced removal rates.

Myth #5: The port will set off metal detectors

Airport detectors vary, but typically, the port under the skin that administers the saline solution to the band is not likely to set off airport metal detectors during the first walk-through. If a patient is also wearing other metal, the combination may set it off. The port will be picked up more often than not when a secondary screening with a wand is completed. The port or band is also not an issue during an MRI test.

Myth #7: The band is filled with air

The band is adjusted using a sterile saline solution.

If you have any further questions about the Lap-Band Procedure, call 1-800-LAPBAND and talk to a specialist.


  • “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” by Paul E. O’Brien, Annemarie Hindle, Leah Brennan, Stewart Skinner, Paul Burton, et al.
  • Dixon JB, Eaton LL, Currry T, et. al. “Health Outcomes and Explant Rates After Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding: A Phase 4, Multicenter Study Over 5 Years.” Obesity (2018) 26, 45-52.

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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.