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Will I have a scar from Lap-Band® surgery?

April 13, 2020

If you’re considering the Lap-Band® Procedure, you probably have a long list of questions. There are plenty of stories out there, but you don’t trust any random person, and you know that everyone is different. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Thankfully, we’re here to answer the questions you might not have otherwise read about.

Are you wondering if you will have a scar after the Lap-Band Procedure? It’s a great question. Scars can cause people a lot of distress. They may feel self-conscious and want to cover their scars up. However, with their large amount of weight loss after the gastric banding procedure, patients may want to show off their new bodies in a bikini at the pool or in a crop top on vacation. However, if they have a huge scar, they might want to cover up. It’s important to know what to expect before you go into the procedure so you can prepare.

Because the Lap-Band is performed laparoscopically, it is less likely to have a large scar as compared to other bariatric surgeries that aren’t performed laparoscopically and instead use a large incision. In a laparoscopic surgery, several small keyhole cuts are made. A laparoscope—a thin, lighted tool—is inserted to show what’s going on during the procedure. You will be left with a few small scars. In an open surgery, there would be a large eight- to ten-inch incision, and therefore a large scar.

Your scarring will depend upon how badly your skin scars and how well you take care of the small incisions after your surgery. If you closely follow your specialist’s instructions and care for your incisions, you should be left with minimal scars. You will want to keep your incisions clean, dry, and dressed as long as necessary. Once they form a scab, do not pick at them—let them heal naturally. Stay hydrated and well-rested to promote healing. Avoid smoking, direct sunlight, and alcohol. If you notice anything weird about your healing incisions—redness, pus, fluids—talk to your doctor immediately because you may have an infection. If you are especially concerned about scarring, talk to your doctor about creams, ointments, or lotions you can use.

Every case is different. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your questions and concerns about scarring. They will discuss your unique circumstances with you so that you will understand the full process before undergoing the Lap-Band Procedure.

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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.