Lap Band Surgery

This article will cover the issues of lap band as a weight loss aid. It has a few other names including laparoscopic band, gastric band, stomach band and gastric banding. We will help you establish if the lap band is for you, how it works and how effective it is as a weight loss treatment.

In an age where obesity has become one of our greatest medical threats, the awareness and need to establish and maintain a healthy weight is taking hold. There are many available options and avenues for weight loss, but each option may only be appropriate or effective for each individual.

Who Should Have Obesity Surgery?

Lap band surgery falls under the umbrella of obesity surgery and while the procedure is relatively simple, it’s important to establish whether obesity surgery of any kind is something you should consider and if you are a suitable candidate.

Some of the things to take into consideration in respect to stomach band surgery.

  • Stomach band surgery is not the holy grail of weight loss. Your weight loss problems will not be solved from this surgery, but it should definitely help
  • This surgery should only be undertaken as a last resort after other non-surgical attempts to manage weight have been exhausted. Diet, exercise and a weight loss program should have been attempted for a certain number of years. This is generally a requirement.


On top of the above considerations, there are further requirements often associated with the surgery

  • Candidates will have to fall within a certain BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Weight related diseases increase the likelihood of a candidates suitability
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Candidate must be overweight or obese for a certain number of years
  • A condition or disease should not be the reason for weight gain

This list of requirements is just a rough guide; an in-depth consultation should be undertaken between the patient and the practitioner when considering a lap band.

How Laparoscopic Gastric Banding Works?

The procedure

As far as surgery is concerned, gastric banding is minimally invasive. Just one small incision is required in the abdomen and it is here that the band is inserted. The band is made of silicon and is placed around the upper part of the stomach. A very thin tube connects the band to an access point which is placed below the skin at the incision point.

The access point allows saline solution to be injected into the band, tightening its grip around this upper part of the stomach and creating a new pouch.

As weight is lost, diet requirements change or you need more food, the pouch size can be changed simply by altering the amount of saline solution in the band via the access point.


  • 1-1.5 hours for the procedure
  • Usually only 1 day in hospital no more then 2

Lap Band Risk

Being minimally invasive, gastric banding poses far less a risk compared to other weight related surgeries. Complications are rare.

Lap Band Costs

The cost of gastric banding will vary between $8,000 and $30,000 but it’s important to consider other costs that will be associated with the surgery such as hospital fees, follow up appointments and professional fees involved in the post operative care.

Be sure to discuss these types of additional costs with your practitioner when discussing the procedure.

The result

  • The amount of food one is capable of eating is reduced by the size of the pouch and feelings of fullness and satisfaction occur sooner
  • The amount of food that can travel through the pouch is restricted by the band
  • The pressure of the band on the stomach induces a feeling of fullness

Typically, a person will lose between 50% and 70% of their excess weight. This is a percentage of the weight you need to lose to be your ideal weight, not your total weight. Some heavily obese people are able to lose up to 90% of their excess weight!

Post Gastric Band Surgery, What Now?

Now that you’ve had the surgery, it is not a matter of just sitting back and watching the weight drop. Having a lap band fitted is apart of bigger weight loss plan that will involve

  • Exercise
  • Diet: Yes, food portions will be smaller, but the food eaten MUST be healthy
  • Industry professionals in diet and exercise
  • Follow up appointments with specialists after surgery
  • Adjustments of the lap band as required

Success Rate

Approximately 90% of people who have a lap band fitted achieve the expected results. This is with the combination of a bigger weight loss

When losing or managing weight, control portions of food is one aspect of the process many people have difficult with and the lap band is an option which can tackle this with great effectiveness.