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What to expect from the Lap-Band® System

February 6, 2020

Are you hoping to transform your life? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything and just can’t lose the weight or keep it off? The Lap-Band® System is the tool you need to make that important life change. It’ll help you feel better both physically and emotionally, and help you gain confidence, self-esteem, and empowerment. 

The Lap-Band is a minimally-invasive, non-anatomy altering procedure which places a band around the upper portion of your stomach. The band creates a smaller stomach above it, and leaves the stomach below intact. The smaller stomach opening leaves you feeling fuller quicker and longer. Unlike other weight-loss procedures, there is no cutting and no rerouting of your intestines. The band reduces the amount of food you can eat in one sitting, allowing you to gradually lose weight and keep it off for the long-term. And because the procedure is completed laparoscopically with just a couple small incisions, you can begin your recovery immediately. Many patients go home the same day as their procedure.

Typically, the band is gradually adjusted, leading to gradual weight loss and ideal hunger control. The first adjustment is recommended at six or more weeks after the procedure. Your surgeon adjusts the band by adding or removing saline through the port under your skin, which is attached to the band. Because the band is adjustable and is reversible, it makes it a standout option in comparison to anatomy-altering weight-loss surgeries. You’ll learn to control your portion sizes and manage your weight with healthy behaviors, as the Lap-Band helps you throughout the journey.

On average, Lap-Band Patients lose between 40% and 50% of their weight after only one year. Weight loss can reduce the occurrence or severity of weight-related diseases, such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, and GERD. On top of that, the procedure is safer than other weight loss surgeries.

Of course, as with any weight loss procedure, there are some cons. The risks are small, but because a foreign device is in the body, there is risk of slippage or band erosion, as well as mechanical issues. If a patient with the Lap-Band significantly overeats time and time again, there is the risk in dilation of the esophagus. All of these risks lead to the potential to re-operate.* While there are slight disadvantages to the Lap-Band, the procedure offers lower risks than other weight-loss procedures, such as Gastric Bypass surgery.

To see if the Lap-Band procedure is right for you, call 1-800-LAPBAND.

*See Lap-Band DFU for full list of complications.


  • Dixon John, O’Brien Paul. Health Outcomes of Severly Obese Type 2 Diabetic Subjects 1 Year After Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding. Diabetes Care, Volume 25, Number 2. February 2002.
  • Dixon John, Schachter Linda, O’Brien Paul. Sleep Disturbance and Obesity: Cahnges Following Surgically Induced Weight Loss. Arch Intern Med/Vol 161. Jan 8 2001.
  • Dixon John, O’Brien Paul. Gastroesophageal Reflux in Obesity: The Effect of LAP-BAND® Placement. Obesity Surgery 1999.

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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.