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Is the Lap-Band® System right for me?

August 29, 2019

Are you wondering if the Lap-Band® System is the right weight-loss tool for you? It’s important to understand who the system is designed for, who qualifies for the procedure, and why it can be the best option for you.

Before heading on the weight-loss journey, you need to find the right system for you and your lifestyle, whether that means adopting a new diet, undergoing surgery, or both. In order to lose weight safely with the Lap-Band Procedure, you are required to meet specific criteria. For starters, you must be 18-years-old or older. You must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m². If you have an obesity-related comorbid condition, you can have a BMI of 30 kg/m² and still qualify for Lap-Band. If you suffer from a disease that may have caused weight gain, you may not qualify for the procedure. You should have a history of unsuccessful weight-loss attempts.

The Lap-Band is a great tool for weight loss, but it is not a cure. Individuals who decide to have the Lap-Band Procedure must be prepared to change their lifestyle and their eating habits. Without these changes, the Lap-Band may not be as effective as it should be. Individuals should also not drink an excessive amount of alcohol, and they must commit to a strict diet. If you are pregnant, it is best to pursue the Lap-Band Procedure following the pregnancy. However, if you become pregnant after you have the Lap-Band, it does not need to be removed. The Lap-Band System is the only weight-loss surgery option that is adjustable and can adapt to the changing requirements of pregnancy.

Your Lap-Band Specialist will determine if you have any number of factors that may negatively impact the effectiveness of the Lap-Band. Any of the following conditions may impact the safety of the procedure, and therefore you may fail to qualify:

  • Inflammatory disease or gastrointestinal tract conditions
  • Heart or lung disease
  • Increased risk of bleeding in the esophagus or stomach, or birth defects in these areas
  • Portal Hypertension
  • An intraoperative gastric injury
  • Cirrhosis
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Infection in the body that prevents surgery
  • Chronic, long-term steroid treatment
  • Allergies to materials in the Lap-Band
  • Pain intolerance to implanted devices
  • Autoimmune connective tissue diseases (in you or a family member)

The Lap-Band is a long-term implant. Removal or replacement may be necessary, especially for individuals who become ill. Placement of the Lap-Band is done laparoscopically, but it is still a major surgery that is subject to risks and complications. The most common complications include: band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea/vomiting. See Lap-Band Directions for Use (DFU) for full list of complication.

The Lap-Band has the power to change your life. Speak with your specialist today to learn more about the Lap-Band System and to begin your weight-loss journey:


  • Directions for Use (DFU). LAP-BAND AP® Adjustable Gastric Banding System with OMNIFORM® Design. Click here for details.
  • The LAP-BAND® System Surgical Aid in the Treatment of Obesity – a decision guide for adults. ReShape Lifesciences Inc. 04-0409 Rev. A. 04/17/19
  • O’Brien, Annemarie Hindle, Leah Brennan, Stewart Skinner, Paul Burton, et al. “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.” Obesity Surgery. The Journal of Metabolic Surgery and Allied Care. Published online: 06 October 2018.

©2019 ReShape Lifesciences Inc        All Rights Reserved                 Part Number 04-0477 Rev. A

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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.