losing weight with the lap-band

Are You Losing Weight With The Lap-Band WLS?

December 20, 2017

Gastric banding — or LAP-BAND® — is a popular weight loss procedure, and has helped thousands of people lose weight since it was approved by the FDA in 2001. During this procedure, an inflatable band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small pouch above the band. With the band, eating just a small amount of food satisfies hunger, helping patients decrease the number of calories consumed and lose weight.

The LAP-BAND® procedure induces excess weight loss of approximately 40 to 50 percent. It involves no cutting of the stomach and requires a shorter hospital stay than other bariatric procedures — in some cases, patients may go home the same day. It is reversible, adjustable and has the lowest risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, compared to other weight loss procedures.

Are You Losing Weight With The Lap-Band?

With all of its advantages, there are some disadvantages to gastric banding. Most notably, a greater percentage of patients fail to lose at least 50 percent of their excess body weight compared to other bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Problems with the band, such as slippage, erosion or mechanical problems can also occur, causing medical complications for the patient.

In some cases, as with any procedure, some patients simply don’t see their desired results, and if the LAP-BAND® isn’t helping a patient lose weight, then other health conditions related to obesity may not be resolved.

The good news is that patients who may have complications with their band have options. In many cases, the LAP-BAND® might just need to be refilled with a simple office procedure or can be fixed with a simple surgery. But sometimes patients need a different type of weight loss solution to get back on track. Often the best choice is revisional bariatric surgery. It can help patients reach their desired weight and resolve medical issues related to obesity. Revisional surgery — such as band-to-sleeve revision — may be considered medically necessary and could be covered by insurance.

Do You Need a Revision?

Patients who have had a failed bariatric procedure, such as LAP-BAND®, may experience symptoms that indicated a need for a revision. Some of those symptoms may include:

  • weight gain
  • severe acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • diarrhea
  • ulcers
  • anemia
  • severe constipation

In addition to band-to-sleeve revision, there are other revisional surgery options for patients who have had a failed bariatric procedure. Bariatric revision procedures may include:

  • LAP-BAND® removal
  • Gastric bypass (RNY) revision
  • Gastric sleeve revision with gastric bypass or duodenal switch

The decision to pursue revisional bariatric surgery is a serious one and should be made with the guidance of an experienced bariatric surgeon. If you aren't losing weight with the LAP-BAND or if you have had a failed LAP-BAND® surgery in the past, contact an experienced bariatric surgeon today to learn more about your options.



Dr. Nick Nicholson is one of the nation’s leading bariatric surgeons. He’s been performing weight loss surgery since 2001 and has helped patients from ALL 50 states and 11 countries. He leads a team of top surgeons, specializing in Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Bypass, LAP-BAND, Revisions, Gastric Balloon, and abdominal cosmetic surgery after weight loss. He practices out of the Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery. Read more articles by Dr. Nick Nicholson!