Benefits of Lap Band/Gastric Band Surgery

Laparoscopic gastric band surgery has many benefits:

  • It is reversible
  • It is adjustable
  • It has lower initial death rate than gastric sleeve surgery

The major disadvantages of gastric bands are:

  • Long term discomfort or pain from irritation of the stomach lining
  • Erosion into stomach (the band may slowly eat through the stomach wall causing a hole)- this requires further gastric sleeve surgery that could be life threatening, requiring life support machines
  • Slippage of band (the lower part of the stomach may shoot through the band causing an enlarged upper pouch)- this causes nausea, reflux and vomiting
  • Malposition of the band (causing a kink in the stomach) or the band may not encircle the stomach properly giving no restriction of food passing through and, therefore, failing to achieve weight loss
  • Problems with the port (requiring further surgery to replace or reposition)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Infection
  • About 30% of gastric band patients fail to lose weight
  • 30-40% of gastric band patients require re-operation of a gastric sleeve surgery over time, including removal of gastric band or conversion to sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass
  • Requires long term monthly follow-ups, which is time consuming. Patients will require monthly needle adjustments to achieve weight loss.