LAP BAND® Surgery

LAP BAND® Surgery, Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding, is the least invasive and safest of all the weight loss surgery procedures. LAP BAND® Surgery helps achieve sustained weight loss by limiting how much you can eat, reducing the appetite, and slowing digestion.

The LAP BAND® by itself, like other weight loss procedures, will not solve morbid obesity. The amount of weight loss depends both on the band and on your motivation and commitment to a new lifestyle and eating habits. The weight loss is slower with the band than other surgeries; some people view this is an advantage and some as a disadvantage. Over time, most studies show the weight loss achieved with the band is fairly equivalent to the other quicker weight-loss surgeries.


  • Least invasive surgical approach – No stomach stapling or cutting, or intestinal re-routing. Most patients go home the same day
  • Adjustable – Can be tailored to the patient’s need
  • Reversible – Lowest mortality/operative complication rates
  • Low malnutrition risk – All vitamins and minerals absorbed normally


  • Slower weight loss than gastric bypass surgery
  • Requires an implanted medical device – potential for band slippage, port flip, or leak
  • Regular follow-up critical for optimal results

About the Procedure

The procedure works by limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold after eating. It erases hunger and allows the patient to be full eating only a small amount of food. This is why it works better than any diet. It involves placing an inflatable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach. The band is connected by tubing to an access port. The access port sits on the rectus muscles,or six-pack muscles, but below the skin and fat. Using the access port, saline can be injected into the inflatable inner ring within the band to narrow the upper portion of the stomach. The new, small upper stomach pouch limits the amount of food that can be consumed at one time, and a narrowed stomach outlet increases the time it takes for the stomach to empty. When properly adjusted, you will be full eating a small amount of food and hunger will be gone. The subsequent reduction in food intake results in weight loss.

Band fills are usually done in the office, and are a necessary part for success. We use an ultrasound machine to easily locate the port and guide the fills, so they are quick and relatively painless. It’s way easier and less painful than getting blood drawn. The fills allow the band to be adjusted to meet your needs. If food is going too quickly through the band, you feel hungry between meals, or you are eating more than a small plate of food to get full – you need a fill. You should lose a minimum of 1-2 pounds a week when properly adjusted. If the band is too tight, it feels like food is sticking or you have reflux symptoms. If it’s too tight and we simply remove some fluid. The band should never be uncomfortable; it’s totally adjustable.

Click here to use our Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator to help determine if you are a candidate.

Aftercare and Recovery

LAP BAND® Surgery is a safe and quick procedure that usually takes only 30-45 minutes to perform. The complications that could occur with the band are generally taken care of easily and safely. It generally carries no more risk than having the gallbladder removed or some other straightforward surgery. It is usually done as outpatient surgery, so you are home the same day. Certain medical conditions may require an overnight stay. Most patients are back to work in about a week or less. What you eat goes through the band and is absorbed, so compliance to healthy foods is still required for optimal results. What you eat is up to you, but we’ll make it so you can’t eat very much. The better you do with the diet, the more weight you will lose. Average weight loss is around 60% of your excess weight.

Weight Loss Comparison

Source: O’Brien et al. Obesity is a Surgical Disease: Overview of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery, ANZ J Surg, 2004; 74: 200-204.

Other Weight Loss Procedures

Johns Creek Surgery Center, PC, attracts patients from all over the metro Atlanta area and beyond including Macon, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Duluth and Marietta, GA. Our Board-Certified experts provide a carefully structured weight-loss program for all patients in a comfortable, caring environment to help them through every step of their weight-loss journey and beyond.

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