Lap Band Surgery Risks


Lap Band Surgery is a surgical procedure and as every other surgical procedure it too has certain risks and complication that can occur. As any other gastric operation for obesity Lap Band Surgery is major surgery and carries with it the risks that would go with any complex operation. Infections can develop around the stomach band or at the site where the reservoir is placed under the skin.

In such an event, a patient would be required to stay in the hospital a few extra days for the infection to clear. Bleeding or injury to the spleen, may require conversion to an open procedure. The access port or the band may leak and may need to be replaced. While the risk of dying during the operation is small (about 0.5 in 1000), there is a slight risk because of either a heart attack or a life-threatening blood clot passing into the lungs.

Risks of Lap Band Surgery

Infection - 1 in 200; treated with antibiotics, Bleeding - possible, but Dr. Spiegel has never re-operated for bleeding after Lap-Band surgery. Vomiting/Nausea - possible, most patients have it once or twice only if they eat too fast. Band slippage - 1 in 100 chance with Dr. Spiegel's patients; always fixed laparoscopically. Death - Possible. The nationwide death rate is 3 in 10,000 or less, which makes the Lap-Band a safer procedure than routine surgeries like hernia repair or gallbladder removal.

Complication on Lap Band Surgery

The most common problem associated with the Lap Band Surgery has been alteration in the size of the stomach pouch which is isolated above the band. This pouch may enlarge in some cases, either due to slippage of the band, or stretching of the wall of the pouch. In addition, there is the potential for band erosion into the stomach. Other possible risks or complications include:

  1. Dehydration
  2. No weight loss
  3. Blockage of stomach outlet
  4. Gas bloat
  5. Nausea
  6. Constipation
  7. Ulceration
  8. Weight regain
  9. Band leakage
  10. Reflux or vomiting
  11. Erosion of band into stomach
  12. Difficulty swallowing
  13. Enlargement of stomach pouch or band slippage
  14. Gastritis


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