Laparoscopic Gastric Banding (Lap-Band)

Laparoscopic gastric banding (Lap-Band) surgery was first introduced to Australia in 1994 and has become a widely used weight control surgical procedure in Australia and throughout the world.

About Gastric Banding

  • Gastric banding surgery involves placing a silicone band around the top of the stomach using laparoscopic (or keyhole) surgery.
  • The band is a hollow ring that can be adjusted with more or less saline to create a smaller or larger opening.
  • The tightness of the band restricts the amount of food that can be eaten at any one time and prevents hunger between meals. 
  • The surgery is minimally invasive, adjustable, and totally reversible, and requires no cutting or stapling of the stomach, or gastrointestinal re-routing to bypass normal digestion. 
  • General anesthesia is required with this surgery. Laparoscopic surgery has the advantages of less pain, fewer wound complications, and a quicker recovery than traditional open surgery.


  • Significantly lower mortality risk than other obesity surgery procedures
  • Allows individualized degree of restriction for ideal, long-term weight loss Adjustments performed without additional surgery
  • Keyhole approach means less scarring and faster recovery with return to work in 1-2 weeks and only an overnight stay in hospital.
  • No malabsorption of nutrients, which means no pills or supplements following surgery
  • You can continue to eat the same meals as your family, only a smaller portion size.
  • You can expect weight loss to be between 2-4kg a month
  • The gastric band is designed to stay in for life 
  • The band can be adjusted to increase or decrease hunger sensations.
  • Completely reversible - this can be achieved by removing all of the fluid, or the band itself 
  • The Band is designed to stay in forever. It is likely that you will regain all of the weight that you have lost, if you have the band removed.


  • Easy to cheat with high calorie liquid such as chocolate milk or alcohol.
  • Certain foods such as steak and bread should be avoided
  • Requires a commitment to long-term follow-up
  • Not ideal if severely needle-phobic

Revision rate for surgery 5-10% due to:

  • Pouch dilatation
  • Food bolus obstruction
  • Slippage of the stomach through the band 
  • Port/tubing leak
  • Wound infection

Click here to find out more about Laparoscopic Gastric Banding.

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