Gastric Banding (Lap-Band & Realize Band)

gastric-bandThe gastric banding procedure, also known by its trade names, Lap-Band and Realize Band, is the only adjustable and fully reversible bariatric procedure available today. The band is a purely restrictive procedure that is performed in a minimally invasive or laparoscopic manner. This means that instead of the single large incision of traditional open surgery, the gastric band only requires several small incisions in the abdomen. Specialized medical devices including the band itself are passed through these incisions using trochars or passageways. One such minimally invasive instrument is the laparoscope itself – a high-definition camera that offers the surgeon a clear view of the surgical field using monitors placed above the operating table.

How It Works

The gastric band is composed of a biocompatible, silicon-like material with small adjustable pillows that retain saline and provide restriction. The band itself is placed around the upper portion of the stomach during surgery. About a week or two after surgery, the band will be tightened by injecting saline through a specialized port that is placed under the skin, attached the abdominal wall. The injection port is connected to the band with soft thin tubing and allows the surgeon to adjust the band until the ideal level of tightness is achieved. This involves several visits to our office after the procedure – called band adjustments – to find the ideal restriction.


The gastric band has been proven effective in fighting obesity and its related diseases. However every patient is unique and results will vary. In general, the gastric band offers a lower degree of potential overall weight loss than the gastric bypass or the gastric sleeve.


  • Significant weight loss and disease improvement results
  • The only major procedure that is readily adjustable and reversible
  • Patients with a BMI as low as 30 may qualify for a band
  • No cutting of the stomach or rerouting of the intestine
  • Fewer dietary restrictions when compared to the gastric bypass


  • Lower total weight loss potential than the gastric bypass or sleeve
  • Patients will require a greater degree of follow-up after surgery
  • Complications may include band slippage, injection port flippage and erosion of the band into the stomach. These conditions will require a revisional procedure
  • The gastric band is major surgery and comes with inherent risks such as pain, blood loss, infection and very rarely, death

If you would like more information on the gastric band, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us. At this consultation, you will learn more about the benefits and risks of the gastric sleeve and whether you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.

You may also learn more about other bariatric procedures including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve.

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