Lap-Band Losing Credibility, Not Weight

MakenzieR on 29 Mar 2011 at 12:00am

Lack of scarring may not be the only impetus to create more options for bariatric surgery. A new study out of Belgium suggests the Lap-Band might not be as efficient as previously thought. 

A Belgian university hospital surveyed patients a decade after their surgery and found that on average only 43% of their excess weight was lost

According to an article in the New York Times: "The bands eroded in almost one in three patients, the researchers found. Sixty percent had undergone additional surgery, including 17 percent who went on to have gastric bypass. Researchers concluded that the adjustable gastric band surgery, which is growing in popularity in the United States, 'appears to result in relatively poor long-term outcomes.'"

Though a fairly modest study, it's definitely something to ponder if you're considering bariatric surgery. 

A little search on RealSelf shows that not all doctors have seen these results, however. Long Island Bariatric Surgeon Shawn Garber answers a user "The Lap-band is the least invasive of the three operations and results in the lowest complication rates and mortality rates. The long term success rate of all three surgeries [bypass, Lap-Band and stomach stapling] are pretty similar. Gastric bypass patients will lose weight faster and lose more but the[y] regain 10 - 20 % of there excess weight.  If you look 3 - 5 years after surgery all three procedures average about 60% excess weight loss."

Gastric banding is a relatively small forum on our site, but so far all the reviews are glowing (though no one is more than 4 years post-op).

Have you or someone you know had a Lap-Band? Do these results worry you, or is the sample too small? Leave us a comment.


Click here to see what may be some future options for bariatric surgery.

Read the full study here.

Comments (1)

I have an acquaintance with a lap band. She lost a lot of weight and was at her ideal weight until she had complications with the band. Because she had it done privately, she can't afford the revision and is putting a lot of the weight back on in the meantime.

I realise that any surgery can have complications and need revisions, but needing a lifetime of adjustments to the band would concern me. Patients who are thinking about the lap band should definitely make sure they know what's included in the price --i.e. lifetime care? -- when they sign up for it.

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