What IS the LAP-BAND®
and how IT works

Installing a LAP-BAND® is done through a minimally invasive surgical technique called, laparoscopy.


A laparoscopy refers to any abdominal or pelvic region operation conducted through a few small cuts in the abdomen that uses the help of a tiny camera.

Looking and functioning similarly to a wristwatch, our surgeons insert the soft silicone LAP-BAND® implant ring (an expandable balloon makes up the center of the ring portion) through one of the small abdominal cuts and fastened it around the upper stomach area.


The implant basically turns a normal stomach pouch into two different stomach pouches. This compartmentalization creates a new, tiny stomach pouch at the top that feels 'full' on a small amount of food. The food slowly empties from the small top pouch into the bigger bottom pouch so patients digest all nutrients normally.


The ballon center of the LAP-BAND® implant ring is adjustable through a port placed under the skin's surface. Our surgeons can increase or decrease the amount of saline inside it with a fine needle through the skin, resulting in a narrower or wider passageway between the two stomach pouches. A narrower passageway allows for slower food passage and a longer feeling of fullness. As patients loose weight and develop new eating habits they are usually able to decrease the amount of saline in their LAP-BAND® implant rings.


Since there is no cutting, stapling or stomach re-routing involved in the LAP-BAND® System procedure, it is considered the least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries. The minimally invasive laparoscopic surgical approach means less post-operative pain, a shortened hospital stay and a quicker recovery.


If for any reason the LAP-BAND® System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form. Most patients see continued weight loss for 2-3 years after surgery, but for the surgery to be effective, one must commit themselves to healthy lifestyle changes.

Am I a good candidate for the LAP-BAND® System? 


  • Your BMI is 30 or higher

  • You weigh at least twice your ideal weight

  • You weigh at least 100 pounds more than your ideal weight.

  • You have been overweight for more than 5 years

  • Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.

  • You do not drink alcohol in excess

  • You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.

  • You are prepared to make substantial changes in in your eating habits and lifestyle.

  • You are willing to continue being monitored by the specialist who is treating you.

  • If you do not meet the BMI or weight criteria, you still may be considered for surgery if your BMI is over 35 and you are suffering from serious health problems related to obesity.

  • While the LAP-BAND® System is an effective treatment for morbid obesity, the pounds do not come off by themselves. The LAP-BAND® System is an aid to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion. However, your motivation and commitment to adopt a new lifestyle are extremely important for long-term weight loss. New eating habits must be adhered to for the rest of your life. Exercise is an equally important component of a changed lifestyle.


  • You have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, severe esophagitis, or Crohn’s disease.

  • You have severe heart or lung disease that makes you a poor candidate for surgery.

  • You have a problem that could cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach. This might include esophageal or gastric varices (a dilated vein). It might also be something such as congenital or acquired intestinal telangiectasia (dilation of a small blood vessel).

  • You have portal hypertension.

  • Your esophagus, stomach, or intestine is not normal (congenital or acquired). For instance you might have a narrowed opening.

  • You have or have experienced an intra-operative gastric injury, such as a gastric perforation at or near the location of the intended band placement.

  • You have cirrhosis.

  • You are pregnant. (If you become pregnant after the BioEnterics LAP-BAND® System has been placed, the band may need to be deflated. The same is true if you need more nutrition for any other reason, such as becoming seriously ill. In rare cases, removal may be needed.)

  • You are addicted to alcohol or drugs.

  • You have an infection anywhere in your body or one that could contaminate the surgical area.

  • You are on chronic, long-term steroid treatment.

  • You cannot or do not want to follow the dietary rules that come with this procedure.

  • You might be allergic to materials in the device.

  • You cannot tolerate pain from an implanted device.

  • You or someone in your family has an autoimmune connective tissue disease. That might be a disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma. The same is true if you have symptoms of one of these diseases.

  • You have some other disease that makes you a poor candidate.

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