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Surgery Options

Gastric Band (Lap Band) Surgery

When you're considering bariatric surgery, one of the first steps is finding out more - more about the benefits and risks of the procedures. And remember: Only you and your bariatric surgeon can decide which procedure is right for you.

What Is Lap Band Surgery?

Often called lap band after the brand of gastric band used, gastric banding is a restrictive surgical procedure, designed to restrict and reduce your food intake without interfering with your body's normal digestive process. During the lap band procedure, your surgeon implants a medical device - a silicone band with an injection port. The silicone band is placed around the upper part of your stomach and molds the stomach into two connected chambers. The lap band injection port is attached to your abdominal wall, underneath the skin. The port is connected to the band with soft, thin tubing. The port allows the band to be made tighter or looser. These adjustments help achieve the perfect amount of restriction you need to lose weight, but also ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs.

How Is Lap Band Surgery Performed? What Are Adjustments?

Adjustable gastric banding (lap band) is performed laparoscopically. Adjustments are made by your surgeon using a needle to inject saline solution into your lap band through the port. Adding saline increases the amount of restriction provided by the lap band, helping you feel fuller sooner and with less food.

Types of Gastric Bands

In the U.S., two types of adjustable gastric bands have been approved by the FDA: Lap-Band is manufactured by Allergan and REALIZE band is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Memorial Hermann NewStart specializes in REALIZE gastric banding procedures.

Advantages of Lap Band (Gastric Banding)

Adjustable gastric banding is safe and effective, with advantages that include:

  • Proven success. Patients lose about 40 percent of their excess body weight within two years.
  • Reversibility. Under the care of our exceptional medical staff surgeons, the Houston lap band surgery can be reversed.
  • Normal digestion and absorption. The Houston lap band procedure does not affect how the body digests food and absorbs vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
  • Less impact on the anatomy. Adjustable gastric banding does not require the opening or removal of any part of the stomach or intestines.

Life After Gastric Banding

Health Benefits

Studies found that gastric banding:

  • Resolved type 2 diabetes in 47.8 percent of patients
  • Resolved high blood pressure in 38.4% of patients
  • Improved high cholesterol in 78.3% of patients

Quality of Life

One meta-analysis stated that for bariatric surgery patients who experienced significant weight loss: 

  • Overall quality of life improved greatly
  • They experienced improved physical functioning and appearance
  • They experienced improved social and economic opportunities


Your NewStart team will advise you when to return to work and the time needed to be able to resume normal activities.

Patient Success Stories

Susan: Lap Band Patient


The day of her lap band surgery, Susan weighed 252 pounds and wore a size 22. Today, she's down to 132 and a sleek size 4.

Read the full story »

Belinda: Lap Band Patient


My surgery was really a new beginning for me," she says. "My entire attitude and demeanor has changed.

Read the full story »


Among the potential complications associated with adjustable gastric banding are puncturing the stomach or gastric perforation, which could require additional surgery; leakage or twisting of the access port; nausea and vomiting; slippage of the band; obstruction of the passage between the pouch and the stomach; enlargement of the pouch; and mechanical failure of the band implant.

Gastric banding can help you feel satisfied sooner and with less food, but it won't eliminate the desire to eat. You will need to follow your specific diet and exercise guidelines provided by your surgeon to achieve success.

Gastric banding requires more intensive follow-up care than most other bariatric surgeries. This is mostly because the band is adjustable. Keep in mind that even after reaching and maintaining your success weight, you may still need to see your surgeon for further adjustments.

Sign up for a seminar today for more information on the Houston lap band procedure from Memorial Hermann NewStart.

Gastric Band Evaluation Program

Occasionally, a patient who has undergone a gastric banding procedure – particularly if it was done years ago – develops side effects that indicate the band is not performing as it should. When that happens, a thorough evaluation of the band can help determine the best options to help get back on track.

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