The Lap Band System

Surgical Center for the Treatment of Morbid Obesity
Louis Fox, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Medical City Hospital, Dallas, Tx. 75230
phone 972.566.4560 – fax 972.566.6239 laparoscopic gastric banding

The LAP-BAND® : Take Control of Your Weight!

How It Works The Advantage Am I a Candidate? Risks

Approved by the FDA in June 2001, the BioEnterics® LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System is the most widely used adjustable surgical treatment for morbid obesity in the United States. It induces weight loss by reducing the capacity of the stomach, which restricts the amount of food that can be consumed. Since its clinical introduction in 1993, more than 300,000 LAP-BAND procedures have been performed around the world.

How It Works

The Lap Band is an adjustable band made from silicon. The Lap-Band is placed around the top of the stomach forming a very small pouch(30 cc or 1 oz). The Lap Band is connected to a port which is implanted under the skin of the abdomen. By adding or removing saline from the port, the band tightness around the stomach can be adjusted. When the food is consumed, it quickly fills the small stomach pouch, satisfying hunger. This gives the sensation of feeling full sooner and the feeling of fullness lasts longer between meals. Weight loss occurs because the small stomach pouch restricts the quantity of food that can be consumed. You will stay full for a longer period of time as the food empties slowly from the pouch through the tightened band into the lower part of the stomach where digestion begins. Patients who are able to commit themselves to good eating habits and regular exercise after surgery general loose more weight.

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The LAP-BAND® System Advantage

Minimal Surgery/ Minimally Invasive Surgery

• Laparoscopic out patient procedure
• Least invasive surgical option
• No cutting or stapling of the stomach or intestines
• No intestinal re-routing
• Reduced patient pain, hospital length of stay, and recovery period

Fewer Risks and Side Effects

• Lowest operative complication rate
• Significantly lower mortality risk when compared to other weight loss surgeries
• Low risk of nutritional deficiencies
• No need for extensive nutritional supplements
• Reduced risk of hair loss
• No “dumping syndrome” related to dietary intake
• No changes in your digestion


• Allows individualized degree of restriction for ideal, long-term weight loss
• Adjustments performed without surgery
• Supports pregnancy by allowing stomach outlet size to be opened for increased nutritional needs


• Removable at any time
• No permanent alteration of anatomy
• Stomach and other anatomy are generally restored to their original forms and functions

Effective Long-Term Weight Loss

• More than 300,000 cases performed world wide
• Standard of care for hundreds of practices around the world
• Academic publications with long term follow-up • Gradual, healthy weight loss

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LAP-BAND® Candidates

The LAP-BAND System is not right for everyone. Here are some of the things we will consider when evaluating your candidacy for obesity surgery.


The LAP-BAND® System may be right for you if:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • Your BMI is 40 or higher or you weigh at least twice your ideal weight or you weigh at least 100 pounds more than your ideal weight. (BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in2) and multiplying that amount by 704.5).
  • BMI 35-40 and have other medical problems.
  • You have been overweight for more than 5 years.
  • Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.
  • You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
  • You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle.
  • You are willing to continue being monitored longterm by the specialist who is treating you.
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess.

Please Note: A BMI between 30-35 or younger than 18 years old does NOT exclude you from Lap Band surgery. Dr. Fox assesses these patients on a case by case basis. However, at the present time, insurance will not cover the procedure if your BMI is less than 35 or younger then 18.

Link to BMI Calculator.


The LAP-BAND® System is not right for you if:

  • You have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, severe esophagitis, or Crohn’s disease.
  • You have severe heart or lung disease that makes you a poor candidate for surgery.
  • You have some other disease that makes you a poor candidate for surgery.
  • You have a problem that could cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach. This might include esophageal or gastric varices (a dilated vein). It might also be something such as congenital or acquired intestinal telangiectasia (dilation of a small blood vessel).
  • You have portal hypertension.
  • Your esophagus, stomach, or intestine is not normal (congenital or acquired). For instance you might have a narrowed opening.
  • You have or have experienced an intra-operative gastric injury, such as a gastric perforation at or near the location of the intended band placement.
  • You have cirrhosis.
  • You have chronic pancreatitis.
  • You are pregnant. (If you become pregnant after the BioEnterics LAP-BAND® System has been placed, the band may need to be deflated. The same is true if you need more nutrition for any other reason, such as becoming seriously ill. In rare cases, removal may be needed.)
  • You are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
  • You have an infection anywhere in your body or one that could contaminate the surgical area.
  • You are on chronic, long-term steroid treatment.
  • You cannot or do not want to follow the dietary guidelines that come with this procedure.
  • You might be allergic to materials in the device.

Your Motivation

The LAP-BAND® by itself is NOT a magic cure. While the LAP-BAND® System is an effective treatment for morbid obesity, the pounds do not come off by themselves. The LAP-BAND® System is an aid to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion. However, your motivation and commitment to adopt a new lifestyle are extremely important for long-term weight loss. New eating habits must be adhered to for the rest of your life. Exercise is an equally important component of a changed lifestyle.

Risks of Lap-Band Surgery

A brief description of relevant contraindications, warnings and adverse events of the LAP-BAND® System

Indications: The LAP-BAND® System is indicated for use in weight reduction for severely obese patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 or a BMI of at least 35 with one or more severe co-morbid conditions, or those who are 100 lbs. or more over their estimated ideal weight.

Contraindications: The LAP-BAND® System is not recommended for non-adult patients, patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

Warnings: The LAP-BAND® System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required at some time. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Patients should not expect to lose weight as fast as gastric bypass patients, and band inflation should proceed in small increments. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Complications and Adverse Events: Placement of the LAP-BAND® System is major surgery and, like any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body.

Band slippage, erosion and deflation, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the esophagus, infection, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required.

Rapid weight loss may result in complications that can require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Please Note: Not all contraindications, warnings or adverse events are included in this brief description. More detailed risk information is available at or 1-877-LAP-BAND.

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