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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 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.