Lap Band Surgery (Gastric Banding) (cont.)

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What are the side effects of lap band surgery (LAGB)?

Side effects include nausea and vomiting, ulceration at the band site, esophageal reflux (indigestion), weight regain, and dehydration. Since this type of surgery is restrictive and does not cause malabsorption of nutrients, vitamin deficiencies are not usually seen. However, many centers recommend multivitamin supplementation. Constipation is commonly encountered.

What are the risks and complications of lap band surgery (LAGB)?

LAGB has a low risk of surgical complications compared to other weight reduction procedures. The mortality (death) rate is about 1 in 2000. There is the possibility of the band slipping or eroding into the stomach and of mechanical malfunction. Other complications may include infection, bleeding, and/or abdominal pain.

What type of surgeon performs lap band surgery (LAGB)?

When choosing a surgeon, it is important to search for one who is a qualified bariatric surgeon. In general, practice makes perfect, and the more surgeries performed the better. A surgeon performing 100 or more procedures annually is likely going to have better outcomes. A surgeon who is part of a clinical team of nutritionists, nurses, psychologists, and physicians in general can provide better counseling and support in the pre- and postoperative period.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery


Dixon JB., O'Brien PE. Changes in comorbidities and improvements in quality of life after LAP-BAND placement. The American Journal of Surgery, December 2002; Vol 184: pp S51-S54.

Favretti F., Ashton D., Busetto L., Segato G., De Luca M. The Gastric Band: First-Choice Procedure for Obesity Surgery. World Journal of Surgery, October 2009; Vol 33(10): pp 2039-48.

Ren CJ., Horgan S., Ponce J. US experience with the LAP-BAND system. The American Journal of Surgery. December 2002; 184(6B): pp 46S-50S.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2015