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Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

  • Deanna M. Neff, MPH
Publication Type:


Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band



This procedure is done to treat obesity . Small incisions are made in the abdomen. An adjustable band is placed around the stomach with the aid of a tiny tool with a camera on it. The tube is called a laparoscope. The surgery causes weight loss by decreasing the amount of food that can pass into your stomach.

Adjustable Gastric Banding.

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Reasons for Procedure

This surgery treats severe obesity. Body mass index (BMI) calculations are used to determine how overweight or obese you are. A normal BMI is 18.5-25.

This surgery is a weight loss option for people with:

  • BMI greater than 40
  • BMI 35-39.9 and a life-threatening condition or severe physical limitations that affect employment, movement, and family life

The success of this surgery depends on your commitment and follow-up with your doctor. If lifestyle changes are made and maintained, the benefits of bariatric surgery include:

  • Weight reduction
  • Improvement in obesity-related conditions
  • Improved movement and stamina
  • Enhanced mood, self-esteem, and quality of life

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Vomiting
  • Slipping or wearing away of the band
  • Erosion of the band into the stomach, which may require open surgical repair
  • Erosion of gastric wall
  • Port complications
  • Injury to other organs
  • Irritation of the throat due to acid reflux
  • Complications of general anesthesia
  • Death

Long-term complications include vomiting and gallstones .

In some cases, the procedure may not result in weight loss. This may lead to removal of the band or the use of another bariatric procedure.

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes

What to Expect

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if any of these occur:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision sites
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medications you were given
  • Blood in the stool
  • Constipation that lasts more than 2 days
  • Pain, burning, urgency, or frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
  • Persistent cough
  • New or unexpected symptoms

Call for emergency medical services right away for:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

Prior to Procedure

Each bariatric surgery program has specific requirements. You may have the following done:

  • Thorough physical exam and review of your medical history
  • Mental health evaluation and counseling
  • Ongoing consultations with a registered dietitian
  • Program to help you lose weight through diet and exercise

Leading up to your procedure:

  • Talk to your doctor about your medications, herbs, and dietary supplements. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
  • Do not start any new medications, herbs, or supplements without talking to your doctor.
  • Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital. Also, arrange for help at home.
  • If advised by your doctor, take antibiotics.
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight unless told otherwise by your doctor. You may be given laxatives and/or an enema to clear your intestines.
  • Shower or bathe the morning of your surgery.




  • Bariatric surgery. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T483434/Bariatric-surgery .
  • Gastric band operation. Bupa website. Available at: https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/directory/g/gastric-band.
  • Gastric banding. UC San Diego Health website. Available at: https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/bariatric/weight-loss-surgery/gastric-band/Pages/default.aspx.
  • Maciejewski ML, Livingston EH, Smith VA, et al. Survival among high-risk patients after bariatric surgery. JAMA. 2011;305(23):2419-2426.
  • 6/24/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T483434/Bariatric-surgery : Pontiroli AE, Morabito A. Long-term prevention of mortality in morbid obesity through bariatric surgery. a systematic review and meta-analysis of trials performed with gastric banding and gastric bypass. Ann Surg. 2011;253(3):484-487.
  • Jensen M, Ryan D, Apovian CM, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Circulation. 2014;129(25 Suppl 2):S102-S138.


  • EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.