Should I Get LAP-BAND® Surgery?

Meet Dr. Joshua Long:
Our Bariatric Surgeon

A nationally renowned and double-board-certified Denver bariatric surgeon, Dr. Long uses a partnership care model with each patient to tailor care to their individual needs. Patients routinely thank Dr. Long for his warm, compassionate bedside manner. He’s considered to be at the top of his field, having performed over 1,000 bariatric surgeries. Peers praise his technical skill, and he has some of the lowest complication rates among bariatric surgeons in the nation. Dr. Long and the staff at the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado consider it an honor to serve every patient with the highest quality of care.

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Dr. Joshua Long

MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS

What Is LAP-BAND® Surgery?

The LAP-BAND® procedure is a surgical procedure that decreases the amount of food intake required to feel full. However, LAP-BAND® surgery is riskier than other similar procedures and carries a greater risk of complications. One study noted that, within three years of having the procedure, 88 percent of patients reported a severe complication, such as gastroesophageal reflux, band slippage (which often requires another surgery), difficulty swallowing, and stomach obstruction. Because of this, worldwide studies now indicate that at least 25-40% of bands will need removal in the first 5 years after placement for a variety of problems experienced with only gastric banding procedures.

Your safety and happiness are important to us at the BMCC. Because of this, we recommend that you consider a safer and more effective bariatric surgery than a LAP-BAND®.

How is a LAP-BAND® Procedure Done?

The band is an inflatable device that is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The band is locked in place like a collar around the stomach and 3-4 stitches are placed on either side of the band to keep it in position, and to decrease the risk of band slippage. The collar is connected to a tube which has a port attached to it. This creates a closed system so that when saline is inserted via the port, it inflates a balloon inside the collar, creating a small stomach pouch. The saline amount will be adjusted over time based on how much you can eat and how much weight you are losing. The band also slows the emptying of food out of the pouch, causing you to feel full longer.

What Should I Expect From LAP-BAND® Surgery?

Like other bariatric procedures, you cannot expect to have the band placed and lose weight without also utilizing other weight loss tools (such as changing your exercise habits and diet after bariatric surgery). On average, patients lose approximately 40-50% of excess weight.

In general, this surgery is the least reliable surgical weight loss tool available. Due to the risks and complications, we recommend patients adopt a safer and more reliable bariatric surgery, such as a sleeve gastrectomy.

More Information

The LAP-BAND® surgery carries substantial risks and can lead to more complications than traditional bariatric surgery.

If you’ve had LAP-BAND® surgery and are experiencing complications or weight regain, a LAP-BAND® removal can help*. Learn more here.

If you currently have a LAP-BAND®, please review our LAP-BAND® Fill informational card.

What Other Bariatric Surgery Should I Consider?

Due to very high international removal rates of at least 25-40% over the first 5 years after band placement (and even higher lifetime removal rates) leading to weight regain among other problems, many surgeons are now recommending other options over the LAP-BAND® surgery. For patients who would have formerly chosen gastric banding, a sleeve gastrectomy can be a great alternative.

If you or a loved one have further questions or would like more information about bariatric surgery or other surgical or non-surgical weight loss, please click the button below and schedule an appointment with our friendly staff.

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This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS. Dr. Long is a double-board-certified bariatric surgeon and bariatric medical director for Parker Adventist Hospital.
Full Bio: Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Page Updated: January 19th, 2020

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*Please note that individual results can vary and are not guaranteed.