Lap-Band Surgery

Lap-Band Surgery

Adjustable Gastric Banding

For More Information

Lap-band surgery is an adjustable, reversible weight loss treatment. While it was popular in the past, it is no longer recommended as frequently because other weight loss procedures have proven more successful at helping people reach their weight loss goals. It has also been associated with several long-term complications that require additional surgery.

While we no longer offer lap band surgery at Duke, we regularly monitor and provide care to people who experience weight loss success following lap-band surgery and require periodic adjustments.  

We also evaluate people who did not achieve the weight loss results they wanted and help them understand their options to achieve success. This may include a combination of band adjustments, medical weight loss options, and revision surgery.

Attend a Free Information Session

Learn more about obesity and weight loss surgery at one of our free information sessions in Durham, Raleigh, and Burlington.

How Lap-Band Surgery Works

Minimally Invasive Surgery
A surgeon uses small incisions and a laparoscope to position an inflatable silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach. The band decreases the size of the stomach so you feel fuller faster. A tube from the band is attached to a port under your skin.

Gastric Band Adjustments
Your surgeon inserts a needle into the port to inject a saline solution that inflates and tightens the band. This makes your stomach smaller. Your surgeon may also use the port to remove fluid if the band needs to be deflated or loosened. These gastric band adjustments take place during regular visits with your doctor.

Expected Weight Loss
According to long-term studies, expected excess weight loss is estimated to be between 40 and 50 percent, however there is a greater percent of people losing 50 percent of their excess body weight when compared to other weight loss surgeries.

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Lap-Band Surgery Complications

The number of people choosing lap-band surgery has declined in recent years because studies indicate long-term complication rates are higher for lap-band surgery than for other weight loss surgeries. Many of these complications require additional surgery. 

Pouch Enlargement

An overinflated band or overeating may cause your stomach pouch to become enlarged. This can cause chest pain, heartburn, and other discomforts. Your doctor can treat pouch enlargement by adjusting the band during an office visit. 

Lap-Band Slippage

The band can slip out of place if it isn’t inserted properly. Lap-band slippage can also occur over time. Lap-band slips can cause GI bleeding, stomach perforation, pneumonia, and other serious complications. A slipped band always requires corrective surgery.

Lap-Band Erosion

While it’s less common, the lap band can also erode into the stomach. When this occurs, the eroded band must be surgically removed.

Port Can Break, Leak, Cause Infection

Port infections can occur immediately following surgery or over time. They may be managed with antibiotics or removal and replacement of the port. Over time, the port can break, leak, or become difficult to access. This often requires corrective surgery.

Other Complications

As with other weight loss surgeries, the following complication may occur with lap-band surgery:

  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gallstones
  • GERD
  • Bowel function changes and perforations
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Blood clots, infection, and other risks that are common with any surgery
Our Locations
Attend your pre-surgical evaluation, all appointments, and monthly support meetings near where you work or live. Many of our locations also offer free information sessions so you can learn more about obesity and weight loss surgery.

Weight Loss Options Following Lap-Band Surgery

If you have not experienced the weight loss results you expected following lap-band surgery, we can help you understand your options to help you achieve success. 

Diet and Lifestyle Evaluation

Our nutritionists and behavioral health specialists will evaluate your current diet and lifestyle habits to see where changes can be made. 

Medical Weight Loss

Medical treatment may be an option to help you achieve your goal. We will discuss which options are appropriate to you. Another option may be for you to work with the providers at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. They can design a program to help you achieve success or ready you for revision weight loss surgery.

Revision Weight Loss Surgery

We’ll evaluate your current anatomy and condition to determine if you might benefit from revision weight loss surgery. Three types of weight loss surgery are typically offered to people who want a revision following lap-band surgery:

These procedures can be more complicated in people with a lap band, because the band and any scar tissue that has formed must be removed before proceeding with the gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or duodenal switch. Our surgeons are skilled at performing these procedures to reverse complications associated with lap band surgery.

Bariatric Center of Excellence
Duke Regional Hospital is accredited by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for its high standards of care in weight loss surgery.
Take the Next Step

Fill out our application if you are interested in being evaluated for weight loss surgery. Once you've submitted the application, we will call you to schedule your first appointment.

Reviewed: 02/13/2019