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Am I a candidate for lap band surgery?

The LAP-BAND® System has a proven track record of helping people lose significant amounts of weight in the first one to two years following surgery as well as long-term: an average of 60% of excess weight 5 years after the procedure. Whether gastric banding surgery is right for you depends on personal motivation and commitment to the program, as well as other medical factors.

Ready to take the first step?

If you are thinking about lap band surgery, sign up to attend a free class or learn more from the comfort of home in this helpful presentation by Dr. Keith McEwen. Choose an option below to get started!

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Motivation and commitment

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.

Is lap band right for me?

The LAP-BAND® System may be the right weight loss surgery option for you if:

  • Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is at least 40, or
    • you are at least 30 pounds overweight with a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity related comorbid conditions.
  • You are at least 18 years old and less than 65 years old.
  • 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 by the specialist who is treating you.
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess.
  • You do not smoke tobacco products or you are willing to quit forever.
  • You are not currently pregnant. (Patients who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.)

When lap band may not be right

There are medical situations and reasons why you may not be a candidate for the adjustable gastric band procedure:

  • You are under 18 years of age.
  • 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, or any other disease that makes you a poor candidate for surgery.
  • You have a problem that could cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach, such as esophageal or gastric varices (dilated veins). 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 intraoperative 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 band placement, the band may need to be deflated.)
  • 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 rules that come with this procedure.
  • You might be allergic to materials in the device.
  • You cannot tolerate pain from an implanted device.
  • You or someone in your family has an autoimmune connective tissue disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma. The same is true if you have symptoms of one of these diseases.

Risks of the LAP-BAND® System

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.

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.

For more detailed risk information, visit www.lapband.com.

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