Surgery Options – Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding  

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) is a type of minimally invasive weight loss surgery that is categorized as a restrictive procedure. It has been widely used in Europe and Australia for patients who suffer from morbid obesity, unable to lose excess weight with conventional medical therapy such as diet and exercise. In 2001 the United States FDA gave approval for an adjustable band to be used in assisting morbidly obese patients to lose excess weight.

The LAP-Band® and the Realize Band® systems consist of a band with an inflatable cuff, catheter and access port. The band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach creating a smaller stomach by restriction. The catheter with access port is brought to the posterior (underneath) abdominal wall allowing access with a specialized needle to insert fluid (usually normal saline) to the cuff of the band in order to increase or decrease the restriction around the stomach. It is the restriction that allows a person to eat less thus decreasing their calorie intake and allowing them to lose weight.

Eligibility criteria for the gastric band are the same for other weight loss procedures such as the gastric bypass. A person must be at least 100 lbs over their ideal body weight (body mass index 40 or above) or a body mass index of 35 with existing associated illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea. Additionally patients are required to meet their insurance company's criteria to include documentation of morbid obesity for at least 5 years.

As with any weight loss surgery, adjustable gastric banding has risks and complications thus there is the need for appropriate patient selection, pre operative consultations, insurance authorization, hospitalization and a multidisciplinary approach to care.


All surgical procedures have known risks related to the type of procedure being performed, anesthesia, and a person's current health status. Below is a list of risks and complications for each procedure. Talk to your surgeon in detail about all the risks and complications that might arise. Then you will have the information you need to make a decision.

"Risks and Complications" for Adjustable Gastric Banding include but not limited to:

  • Death
  • Spleen or Liver damage
  • Damage to major blood vessels
  • Blood clots
  • Gastric perforation
  • Gastric band erosion
  • Gastric band slippage
  • Wound infection
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gastric reflux
  • Gastric stoma obstruction
  • Band access port slippage
  • Band access port leakage
  • Failure to loose weight
  • Weight Regain

Back to top

© University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital Bariatric Surgery Program   443-843-6360   |   Privacy/HIPAA/Discrimination Policies

Site by Sequel Design Associates, Inc.