Lap Band Procedure

The Lap Band (Gastric Banding)

Lap Band illustrationThe Lap Band System refers to a form of weight-loss surgery during which a gastric band is inserted around the top of the stomach in order to reduce the volume of food the stomach will hold at one time (gastric banding). This popular procedure curbs hunger, which in turn leads to significant weight-loss. The term 'Lap Band' derives from the laparoscope (a small camera) the surgeon uses and the gastric band he or she inserts. The only FDA-approved procedure for weight-loss, the Lap Band procedure places a silicone band around the top portion of the stomach; this has the effect of dividing the stomach into two sections.

The band has an inner balloon that is connected by tubing to an access port, which is placed deep under the skin of the abdomen. Saline is injected into the port and makes its way to the band. This makes the opening from the top portion of the stomach smaller, thereby restricting food intake. By reducing or increasing the amount of fluid in the band, the doctor can adjust it to fit the individual patient. The tightness of the band correlates directly to the amount of satiety (feeling of fullness) felt throughout the day.

Benefits of the Lap Band

The following is a list of the most important benefits:

  • Satiety (feeling of fullness) — Lap Band procedure works by providing satiety. This feeling typically lasts between meals and helps patients develop positive eating behaviors. Even without fluid, the Lap Band procedure provides a sense of satiety by surrounding nerves that would otherwise send messages of hunger to the brain and central nervous system.
  • Adjustable — The ability to adjust the amount of fluid in the band allows patients to customize the effect of the Lap Band procedure by regulating the amount of food entering the stomach.
  • Compatible with Pregnancy — The Lap Band can be adjusted to open the stomach outlet in order to accommodate increased nutritional need.
  • Minimally Invasive — Because there is no cutting and rerouting of the stomach and intestines, the Lap Band procedure is ten times safer than gastric bypass and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Recovery from weight-loss surgery is typically quick, and patients are able to return home in a matter of hours.
  • Reversible — Unlike gastric bypass surgery, the Lap Band procedure is reversible because the band can be removed at any time (however, this is general not recommended).
  • Low Incidence of Side Effects — Unlike gastric bypass surgery, the Lap Band procedure rarely results in nutritional deficiencies.

The Lap Band can also reverse, reduce or prevent many complications associated with obesity:

  • Asthma: 93% of patients saw improvements or resolution after 1 year
  • Type II Diabetes: 90% of patients saw improvements or resolution after 1 year
  • Sleep Apnea: 93% of patients saw improvements or resolution after 1 year
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux: 90% of patients saw improvements or resolution after 1 year
  • High Blood Pressure: 79% of patients saw improvements or resolution after 1 year


Certain requirements for weight-loss surgery were established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the early 1990s and have not changed. According to the NIH, the Lap Band procedure and other weight-loss surgeries are only suitable for people who 1) have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or 2) have a BMI of 35 to 39 coupled with severe medical problems (co-morbid conditions) such as diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol.

Before paying for Lap Band surgery or other types of weight-loss surgery, such as gastric bypass surgery, most insurance companies require a proven history of attempts at weight-loss.

Aftercare and Recovery from the Lap Band Procedure

Most people who undergo the Lap Band procedure go home the same day and are able to return to work within a week. Patients are typically given a dietary plan (including vitamin supplements) that first consists of liquids (for a few weeks), followed by soft foods and, later on, solid foods. Patients are also given an exercise program, which is key to a successful outcome. Some people are advised to seek behavioral modification therapy as well.

Following the procedure, Lap Band patients may need to visit the doctor's office several times. The average patient needs six to eight adjustments over the first 18 months after the procedure.

Potential Complications

Like all surgeries, the Lap Band procedure carries a small risk of complications such as bleeding and infection. Potential complications specific to the Lap Band procedure include:

  • Slippage of the band, which can cause heartburn and/or vomiting
  • Band Erosion
  • Band Deflation due to leakage
  • Enlargement of the stomach pouch
  • Blockage of the stoma (stomach outlet)
  • Lap Band Surgery Shows Promise For Severely Overweight Teens

    DALLAS (February 12, 2010) – Paul E. O’Brien, National Medical Director for True Results, the nation’s most experienced Lap Band provider, recently authored a study about teens and obesity.

  • True Results, 93Q Announce Winner of Free Lap Band Procedure

    Chana Mills selected by listeners; nearly 18,000 votes cast

    Houston, Texas (November 10, 2009) — True Results, The New 93Q and Country Legends 97.1 announced live on-air November 10 that Chana Mills is the winner in the “Weight-Loss for Good” free Lap Band procedure contest. Mills was one of five finalists, which were chosen from among 600 Houstonians who completed online entries.

  • True Results, 93Q Announce Finalists for Free Lap Band Procedure

    Winner to be selected by listener vote, announced November 10

    Houston, Texas (October 28, 2009) -- True Results, The New 93Q and Country Legends 97.1 have announced the five finalists in the “Weight-Loss for Good” free Lap Band procedure contest. More than 600 Houstonians completed online entries and the finalists were chosen based on their personal stories and the difference the procedure can make in their quality of life and health.

  • True Results Surgery Center of Richardson receives reaccreditation from the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network

    DALLAS (October 5, 2009) – True Results, the nation’s most experienced LAP-BAND® provider, announced today the reaccredidation of its Surgery Center of Richardson by the American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network (ACS BSCN) Accreditation Program. This will be the second time the center has received this renewable, three year accreditation making it the longest standing accredited center in Texas and one of only two fully accredited outpatient centers currently in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

  • Dr. Christopher L. Reilly Joins the True Results of Houston Network as Newest Lap Band Surgeon

    True Results announced today that Christopher L. Reilly, MD has joined the True Results of Houston network as a lap band surgeon. Reilly has extensive expertise in laparoscopic surgery and brings to the table more than 12 years experience performing procedures in the Greater Houston area.

  • Lap Band Proven to Cure Type-II Diabetes

    Published: January 23, 2008
    Weight-loss surgery works much better than standard medical therapy as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes in obese people, the first study to compare the two approaches has found. Read More...
  • Can You Lower Your High Blood Pressure with the Lap Band?

    What You Need to Know About Hypertension & Weight Loss Surgery

    If you’re struggling with your weight, there’s a good chance you are at risk for or experiencing high blood pressure. One out of three American adults have hypertension, and more than two-thirds of adults in our country are overweight or obese. Think there might be some pretty big overlap in that group? You’d be right.

  • Is The Lap Band Right For You? Take the Quiz.

    By Dr. Paul O’Brien, Medical Director

    The Lap Band has helped thousands of people lose weight gently and permanently. But how do you know if the Lap Band is the right weight loss solution for you

    That’s why I developed the Readiness Quiz – to help you evaluate if you should explore this weight loss solution further, quickly and in the privacy of your own home. 

  • True Results of San Antonio Receives Accreditation from AAAHC

    Only Dedicated Bariatric Surgery Center in San Antonio with Designation

    DALLAS (June 21, 2010) – True Results, the nation’s most experienced Lap Band provider, today announced its Turning Point Surgery Center of San Antonio has achieved the highest level of accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).  The center received three-year accreditation and is the only dedicated bariatric surgery center in San Antonio accredited by AAAHC, which distinguishes it from many other facilities with a proven safe work environment and the highest quality patient care and safety. 

  • The Fuzzy Slippers Workout and Other Easy Ways to Be Active

    Putting More Movement into Every Day with the Lap Band

    Being active when you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t have to mean running a marathon, pumping iron or taking aerobics every day. Although, now that you are taking off the pounds with the Lap Band, it’s certainly possible those things may be in your future. But to get started, put on your fuzzy slippers.