Weight Loss Team

Why the Lap Band Surgery does not work

By Gerald Witt on November 29, 2021

 The Lap-Band, also known as the adjustable gastric band was a very popular surgery less than just 10 years ago and is a procedure that certain doctors in the United States are still performing.  This is a shame as the lapband surgery plain and simple just does not work, and is now considered by almost all doctors worldwide, except for those in the USA as an out of date procedure that puts too much control in the patient's hand and has a very high failure rate.  The lapband surgery consists of a surgeon who places an inflatable silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch above the band and the rest of the stomach remains intact below it, slowing down and restricting the food intake of the patient. In theory, The Lap-Band was a good idea where the weight loss surgery procedure restricted the amount of food that the patient could eat, but the idea was flawed as the food funnels in the remaining stomach allowing a patient that does not have control over their eating habits to continue eating foods they like once they figure out how to trick the lapband. Also, some other patients have suffered many complications such as slippage with the lapband or the medical device can grow into the stomach creating a problem which is known as erosion. Studies have shown that most Gastric Bands are removed due to inadequate weight loss or complications after 7 to 10 years. Only about 2 out of 10 Lapband patients still have their bands in place. The other 80 percent had their bands removed because they could not tolerate it and had too many side effects such as:

  • Issues with the upper digestive tract
  • Esophageal dysmotility
  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Difficulties to swallow
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Slippage
  • Erosion

For some patients, restrictive surgery is simply not the answer. They need a weight loss surgery that includes a malabsorption component to be effective for them to lose weight. If that is the case a patient should consider the Gastric Bypass or Mini Bypass instead of the Lapband especially if they are sugar eaters. Other patients may do well with a restrictive surgery and for those patients; they really should consider the Gastric Sleeve surgery instead of the Lapband.  The main reason for this is you do not have a foreign medical device implanted in your body, and when your new stomach is full, you are full and you cannot keep eating making the Gastric Sleeve surgery a restrictive surgery that actually works for weight loss.

As you can see above there are other Weight Loss Surgeries widely recommended by specialists instead of the Lapband. However, it is important that patients know that the main reason for the failure of the initial Weight Loss Surgery is the patient’s reluctance for lifestyle changes.

The more committed a patient is to a diet and exercise routine, the more successful results the patient will have. If you have a lapband in place you may choose to remove your lapband and have a sleeve, mini bypass, or bypass performed.  However, it is important for the patients to understand that a second Weight Loss Procedure will only work if they are committed to specific long-term lifestyle changes.


The recommended surgical revision options from a Lapband are the following:

  • Lap Band to Gastric Sleeve Surgery

This revision weight loss surgery is recommended for patients who can be successful on a restrictive diet after surgery and who are willing and able to eliminate carbs and sugars from their diets. This is a good option for patients who have experienced complications after their Lapband surgery and have had insufficient weight loss or regained 40% or more of the weight they have lost in the past.

  • Lap Band to Bypass or Mini Bypass Surgery

This revision surgery to Gastric Bypass or Mini Gastric Bypass is particularly effective for those patients who eat sugary foods or sweets and or have regained most of their weight due to really bad eating habits. This is also a viable surgery option if the patient has more than 130 pounds to lose and or has an element of acid reflux. The Bypass Revision surgery or Mini Bypass Revision Surgery is the ideal treatment for patients who may not have experienced outstanding results following their Lapband surgery. Most Lap Band removal and conversion to Bypass procedures can be done in one stage laparoscopic surgery.

Unfortunately, most patients who had a Lap Band Surgery have to have a follow-up revision surgery or even a removal surgery. So, it is very important that patients consult their surgeon about their revision surgery options and it is also very important when considering Weight Loss Surgery to not do a Lapband Surgery but rather a Gastric Sleeve, Mini Bypass, or Gastric Bypass Surgery in its place.


For more information regarding Clinics/ Hospitals and Weight Loss Options mentioned in this article:

Weight Loss Team – Bariatric Surgery Center at the CMQ Riviera Nayarit Hospital in Puerto Vallarta Jalisco Mexico.

Website: www.weightlossteam.com/

Email: info@weightlossteam.com

Telephone: Toll free 1(800) 404-9064 or + 1(818) 949-6911

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