Lap-Band® FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to our most common questions about Lap-Band®

What to expect with Lap-Band®

What is Lap-Band?

The Lap-Band® System is an adjustable gastric band that helps to limit the amount of food you can eat at once. Through healthy portion control and a healthy lifestyle, you can lose excess weight and keep it off, too. Unlike other bariatric procedures, the Lap-Band Program provides a weight-loss solution that is non-anatomy altering, minimally invasive, and provides proven long-term weight loss. We highly recommend signing up to start your journey today

Why should I choose Lap-Band over other bariatric procedures?

Unlike other bariatric procedures, the Lap-Band® program provides a weight-loss solution that is non-anatomy altering, minimally invasive, and provides proven long-term weight loss. In addition, it has the lowest complication rate and shortest recovery time. But that’s not all — visit our website to learn more!

What are the other benefits of Lap-Band?

Weight loss resulting from the Lap-Band® program has been shown to resolve or improve serious obesity-related health conditions in many people, including Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma, Sleep Apnea, and GERD.4-7 In fact, 73% of all Lap-Band Patients reported remission of their Type II Diabetes due to their weight loss after two years on the program.

In addition to chronic conditions, obesity is highly correlated with cancer risk including uterine, gallbladder, kidney, liver, and colon cancers. Recent studies have pointed to the link between obesity and higher COVID-19 complications and risk of mortality. Lowering your weight now can help protect you from avoidable risk and a possible health emergency even in the short term.

Is ReShape Lap-Band covered by insurance?

Many insurance companies will assist with the cost of the Lap-Band® program. Inquire with your insurance provider for more information about coverage. Speaking to a Lap-Band surgeon can give you a better idea of the costs, insurance coverage, and financing options that are available to you. To find a location in your area, please visit or give us a call at 1-800-LAP-BAND (527-2263).

What is the cost of the ReShape Lap-Band program without insurance?

A surgeon can give you an estimate on what your specific procedure would cost. Please visit us at to find a Lap-Band® surgeon near you or give us a call at 1-800-LAPBAND (527-2263) to find a Lap-Band® surgeon near you.

How do I locate a Lap-Band provider?

To find a Lap-Band® surgeon near you, please visit and we would be happy to help you!

How quickly will I lose weight?

Lap-Band Patients lose an average of 65% of their excess weight* in the first year and 70% in the second year.1 The Lap-Band Program helps you control your feeling of fullness and how much you eat, giving you more power over your hunger and more control over your weight loss than ever before. When combined with comprehensive aftercare, counseling, and support, the Lap-Band Program puts you in the driver’s seat of your health journey, often for the very first time.

1. Michaelson, R., Murphy, D. K., Gross, T. M., Whitcup, S. M., & LAP-BAND Lower BMI Study Group (2013). LAP-BAND for lower BMI: 2-year results from the multicenter pivotal study. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 21(6), 1148–1158.

* % Excess Weight = (weight loss from baseline/excess body weight at baseline) x 100; Excess body weight = body weight – ideal body weight; Ideal body weight is determined by assigning a weight corresponding to a BMI of 25kg/m2 for a person of a given height.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

After 1 year, 65% of excess weight* has been shown to be lost, and 70% at 2 years.1 On average, patients kept off 47.1% of their excess body weight after 15 years of having the ReShape Lap-Band.2

1. Robert Michaelson, Diane K. Murphy, Todd M. Gross, and Scott M. Whitcup. Obesity (2013) 21:1148–1158. ReShape Lap-Band for Lower BMI: 2-Year Results from the Multicenter Pivotal Study.

2. O’Brien PE et al. Annals of Surgery, Volume 257, Number 1, January 2013 Long-Term Outcomes After Bariatric Surgery Fifteen-Year Follow-Up of Adjustable Gastric Banding and a Systematic Review of the Bariatric Surgical Literature.

* % Excess Weight = (weight loss from baseline/excess body weight at baseline) x 100; Excess body weight = body weight – ideal body weight; Ideal body weight is determined by assigning a weight corresponding to a BMI of 25kg/m2 for a person of a given height.

How does Lap-Band® help me maintain lasting weight loss?

The easiest way to achieve lasting weight loss is to curb constant hunger. The Lap-Band System does this through its unique design. The Lap-Band Program is personalized for every person, with an adjustable Gastric Band that can be tightened and loosened as your body changes over time and a customized aftercare program designed to help you lose the weight and keep it off.

Will I be in pain after the procedure?

You may feel some pain around the incision sites, especially under the skin of the abdomen where the access port is placed. You may also experience pain and discomfort in your joints and shoulders. This pain may be caused by gas – different from intestinal gas – that was used to inflate the abdomen during surgery. It will go away, but it’s important to walk around after your surgery to help it resolve.

How long is the average recovery period?

The average hospital stay is less than 24 hours. Typically, it takes about one week before you can return to work. You can start preparing yourself by making sure you get out of bed and move around in the first two days after surgery – even if you’re just able to take a few steps at first. In the first one to two weeks, walking is recommended as a simple, safe way to start getting exercise and building up stamina. You can also try other light forms of exercise – for example, moving your arms up and down or, while seated, raising or stretching your legs. But give yourself at least a full month before you attempt anything more strenuous, such as light aerobics. And always check with your doctor about the amount and type of exercise that is best for you.

How does Lap-Band help curb hunger?

The Lap-Band® program improves portion control and encourages a well-balanced diet. The Lap-Band features an adjustable Gastric Band that is placed around the upper stomach to reduce its capacity, promoting a feeling of satiety and helping to limit the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. Your stomach will resemble an hourglass shape that helps to limit the amount of food you can eat at one time and slows the movement of food out of your stomach. Learn more about the Lap-Band program on our website

Are there any risks with the Lap-Band®?

All medical procedures come with certain risks; your surgeon will review the risks related to the procedure with you. Learn about Lap-Band® safety by speaking to a surgeon in your area:

Are there any side effects with the Lap-Band®?

Placement of the Lap-Band® system requires 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 with the Lap-Band include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur.

Is there information on other procedures?

We can only provide information about the Lap-Band® program. Please follow up with your surgeon for more information about any other treatment options and to determine which treatment option is best for you.

How do I get more information on the Lap-Band®?

We would love to provide you with any information you need. Please give us a call at 1-800-LAPBAND (527-2263). To learn more and start your journey visit us at

Is the Lap-Band® right for me?

As much as we would love to help you, we cannot provide medical advice. Please consult with your surgeon or contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-LAPBAND (527-2263).

Does Lap-Band® work for patients like me?

The short answer is – yes. On average, patients kept off 60% of their excess body weight after five years of having the Lap-Band.1 Weight loss isn’t one size fits all, that’s why Lap-Band was created to be adjustable and reversible. It has the lowest rate of early postoperative complications and mortality among the approved bariatric procedures. And Lap-Band has the lowest risk for vitamin/mineral deficiencies.2

1. Ray, J. B., & Ray, S. (2011). Safety, efficacy, and durability of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in a single surgeon U.S. community practice. Surgery for obesity and related diseases: official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, 7(2), 140–144.

2. Rottenstreich, A., Elchalal, U., Kleinstern, G., Beglaibter, N., Khalaileh, A., & Elazary, R. (2018). Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes After Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. Obstetrics and gynecology, 131(3), 451–456

How is the Lap-Band adjusted?

The Lap-Band® system is adjusted by inserting a fine needle through a small access port located under the skin and injecting or removing saline solution, which tightens or loosens the Gastric Band. The Lap-Band should typically be adjusted an average of 5-6 times in the first year for the best long-term weight-loss results. Adjustments to the Lap-Band are made through a discreet and carefully placed access port that helps improve recovery and ensures comfortable adjustments. When your needs change, or you have a major life event like pregnancy, the Lap-Band adjusts to you. Take the first step and sign up for a free consult or start your journey at

Will I feel sick a lot after the operation?

If you feel nauseated or sick on a regular basis, it may mean you need to chew your food more thoroughly or follow your new diet more strictly. However, feeling sick could indicate a problem with the adjustment (ReShape Lap-Band could possibly be too tight) of the band – so contact your doctor if you feel sick regularly. In either case, chew your food slowly and as thoroughly as you can to help prevent vomiting or regurgitation – which can cause the small stomach pouch to stretch or lead to slippage. These scenarios could reduce the success of the operation or require an adjustment (to remove some of its fluid content). In some instances, another operation may be required.

What does recovery look like?

Recovery time will vary by patient. Because the Lap-Band® procedure is done laparoscopically, the recovery is much shorter than with traditional weight loss surgery. The procedure itself takes about an hour, and most patients can return home quickly. Your surgeon will be able to discuss all of this with you at your initial consultation. For more information on how to prepare for the Lap-Band procedure, please visit us at

I need a fill but have moved/am no longer with a surgeon

It is extremely important to stay in communication with a Lap-Band® surgeon. If you need assistance locating a new one in your area, please visit us at and we would be happy to help you!

How much does an adjustment cost – and will my insurance pay for it?

The answer to this question will vary. Ask your clinical coordinator or office manager for more information.

What is the most important thing I need to know about adjustments?

Do not be in a hurry to have an adjustment too soon. The ReShape Lap-Band® offers you a way to achieve steady and safe weight loss. Finding the right balance between losing weight gradually and receiving adequate nutrition is optimal. It’s what we call being “in the Green Zone,” and the purpose of adjustments is to help you get there. You should be able to eat small amounts of food with comfort. If you are too ”tight,” you will find it hard to get adequate nutrition. Also, you could have symptoms such as reflux (“heartburn”) or vomiting.

How would I know if the ReShape Lap-Band® is “too tight” or “overfilled”?

If the adjustment results in too tight a stomach opening, you could have a hard time eating most foods. Sometimes, this causes people to avoid solid food and instead eat soft foods or drink liquid meals. This can result in weight gain, especially if the liquid is high in calories. If the ReShape Lap-Band® is too tight, it can cause reflux symptoms (“heartburn”), particularly at night. It can also cause frequent vomiting. The opening into the larger stomach could become completely blocked and prevent you from being able to keep any food or fluids down. Should you develop these symptoms, notify your surgeon immediately.

Can the Lap-Band be removed once I hit my goal weight?

The Lap-Band® System is meant to remain in place during weight loss and for years of maintenance. We know that once the band is removed, patients no longer feel satisfied with small portions, and often times start eating larger meals again. Although gastric banding is a reversible procedure and the Lap-Band can be removed laparoscopically, it is not advisable to have the band removed once you meet your goal weight.

What if I am thinking about getting pregnant?

The Lap-Band® program is the only weight-loss surgery option that is adjustable and can adapt to the changing nutritional requirements of pregnancy. All weight-loss surgeries are contraindicated for patients who currently are or may be pregnant. However, unlike other bariatric surgeries, women who become pregnant after receiving the Lap-Band deliver babies as healthy as the general population. You can learn more about how Lap-Band works on our website

What if I go out to eat?

Order only a small amount of food, such as a healthy appetizer. If you order an entrée, ask the waiter to serve you half and wrap the rest so you can take it home for another meal. You may want to let your host or hostess know in advance that you prefer smaller portions.

What about alcohol?

Alcohol is high in calories. It also breaks down vitamins. An occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, though, is not considered harmful to weight loss. Follow your surgeon’s advice regarding drinking alcohol.

Will I need plastic surgery for the excess skin once I have lost a lot of weight?

Because weight-loss is achieved over a longer period of time with the ReShape Lap-Band, there’s a lower chance of developing loose skin.

How many adjustments will I need?

Some patients may need adjustments every 4 to 6 weeks during the first year. After that, adjustments are usually less frequent. Some patients need very few adjustments.

How do you know when you need an adjustment?

Your Lap-Band® surgeon can help you decide if you need an adjustment. If you are hungry, looking for food, and not having optimal weight-loss, you probably need fluid added to your band. If you are experiencing early and prolonged satiety (feeling full after a small portion of food for several hours), and losing one to two pounds per week, your band is working fine, and you do not need an adjustment. If you are having symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, night cough, regurgitation, acid reflux or heartburn, you might need fluid removed or adjusted.

Have a question not answered here?

Call 1-800-LAP-BAND to get more information.

Are you ready to transform your life with the Lap-Band® Program?

Speaking with a Lap-Band Surgeon can help you resolve any questions or concerns you might have. If you are wondering if the Lap-Band Program is right for you, find a local surgeon today. Your weight-loss journey is right around the corner.

Explore all things Lap-Band®

The weight loss journey is full of ups and downs and everything in between. Gain the knowledge and support you need to find joy in every step.

Read real stories
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.