Lap Band Surgery (Gastric Banding) (cont.)

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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 1/31/2014