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How does the Lap-Band® Program work?

April 9, 2021

Are you looking for a little bit more information about the Lap-Band® Program before you decide to find a surgeon in your area to schedule a consultation? We get it! It can be a scary decision, but it’s time to take control of your life. Learn more about how you can take control for a lifetime with the Lap-Band Program.

How it works

The Lap-Band Program is a safe weight-loss procedure that allows patients to maintain their weight-loss long-term. A soft silicone band is placed around the upper stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch. This reduces the stomach’s capacity, helping you to eat smaller meals and feel fuller faster. The band is adjusted through a port that is placed under the skin and connects to the band with a tube. The band can be either tightened or loosened by removing or adding saline solution through the port.   

Not only is the procedure safe and low risk, it is the least invasive bariatric procedure available for patients. The procedure is performed laparoscopically, and unlike other bariatric procedures, there is no cutting or rerouting of the stomach or intestines involved. This means that the procedure is also reversible; the same cannot be said for bariatric procedures like gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy.

Before moving forward with the procedure, you must undergo testing to ensure that you are healthy enough to qualify for the procedure. You will meet with your surgical team to discuss the procedure, ask any questions, and make sure you are ready to make a lifelong commitment.


The Lap-Band Program is unique because the procedure is performed in an outpatient facility and patients can typically go home the same day. Other procedures require at least an overnight stay in the hospital. Patients may feel sore following the Lap-Band Procedure, but pain is easily managed with pain medicine. As the stomach heals, which can take upwards of four to six weeks, patients will slowly transition from liquids to soft foods to solid foods. This is to make sure the new stomach structure heals properly. Patients can engage in light exercise following the procedure but should wait until they have the okay from their surgeon to start participating in more strenuous activities, like weightlifting. Other than that, patients can resume their daily lives fairly quickly and start their weight-loss journeys.


Contrary to some myths, undergoing the Lap-Band Procedure is not taking the easy way out; patients still work very hard to lose weight and maintain their weight loss. This is true for all bariatric procedures. Participating in an aftercare program, in which patients regularly talk to their surgical team, is highly recommended. Patients should look to their Lap-Band Team for support and to discuss any complications. It’s also important to stay in touch with your Lap-Band Support Team so they can perform adjustments to your band as needed.

To get in touch with a Lap-Band Surgeon, visit:

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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.