Lap Band Surgery

view more info

Lap band surgery, or adjustable gastric banding, is a type of weight loss surgery for patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight. During lap band surgery, surgeons place an inflatable adjustable silicone band around the top part of the stomach, creating a small gastric pouch of approximately one-half of an ounce. Because the pouch fills up very quickly with food, patients can only eat a small amount of food at one time. Food leaves the pouch through a narrow channel created by the lap band surgery and moves into the larger part of the stomach below the band where it is digested normally.

After surgery, the lap band can be easily adjusted in the doctor's office to tighten or loosen pressure and regulate the passage of food from the pouch. Physicians inject fluid into the band to tighten it, and remove fluid to loosen it.

Benefits and complications of lap band surgery

Lap band surgery promotes weight loss by significantly limiting the amount of food the patient can eat, and by providing an earlier sensation of feeling full.

Lap band surgery offers a simpler and safer alternative to other surgical options such as gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy. When performed laparoscopically, lap band surgery takes only one hour or less and requires a hospital stay of no more than a day. Lap band surgery involves no cutting, stapling or manipulating the stomach or intestines, so complication rates are lower than with other procedures. The most common complications are band erosion into the lumen of the stomach (2 percent) and band slippage (3 to 4 percent).

Understanding Bariatric Surgery Treatment Options for Obesity

In this video, Dr. Scott Shikora, Director of Brigham and Women's Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, discusses weight loss surgery options for weight loss and metabolic treatment in patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or BMI greater than 35 with a major co-morbid condition. Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, can result in meaningful and sustainable weight loss that has long term health benefits. Brigham and Women's Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery performs several weight loss surgery procedures including lap band surgery (adjustable gastric band), sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery.

Lap band surgery at BWH

Patients considering lap band surgery receive compassionate, world-class care at the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). Our surgeons offer comprehensive weight loss surgery options, and work with each patient to craft a plan that is best suited for their individual needs. Working alongside our surgeons are skilled clinicians who provide dietary, behavioral and medical support to maximize positive outcomes after their lap band surgery.

To learn more about lap band surgery and other weight loss surgery options, attend an information session at BWH. To schedule your session, call our new patient coordinator at 617-732-8500, ext. 1.

Brigham and Women's Hospital also offers medical services in a number of other specialties, including orthopaedic surgery, neurology, women's health and more. Learn more now about these services, or use our physician directory to search for physicians in any of our medical specialties, such as a rheumatologist, OB/GYN expert or doctor specializing in women and depression.

Learn more about Lap Band Surgery and other Weight Loss Surgical Procedures at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Find a DoctorFind an expert Bariatric Surgeon from BWH for weight loss surgery.

Find an expert Bariatric Surgeon from Brigham and Women's Hospital for weight loss and metabolic treatment.

Quality and SafetyLearn how quality and patient safety are at the core of Brigham and Women's mission and vision.

Learn how quality and patient safety are at the core of Brigham and Women's mission and vision. 

Top HospitalLearn more about how U.S. News & World Report ranks Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Learn more about how U.S. News & World Report ranks Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH