Elective Surgery: Lap-Band

For those considering weight-loss surgery after numerous unsuccessful battles of the bulge, there are a number of questions to answer before making your choice. Cost, lifestyle, side-effects, and efficacy are some of the most important factors to consider.

Diet and exercise 300x198 Elective Surgery: Lap Band Photo

When diet and exercise don’t work, weight loss surgery, like lap-band, may be the answer.

Here’s the rundown on one of the most popular weight-loss procedures – lap-band:

How does lap-band work?
The lap-band procedure, also known as gastric banding, involves an elastic band being placed around your stomach, restricting the amount of food you’re able to eat.

Pro and Cons
Pro: Weight loss with fewer complications than gastric bypass. Cons: Less dramatic weight loss that takes longer than with gastric bypass and is more dependent on healthy food choices.

Side Effects

  • nausea and vomitting
  • ulceration at the band site
  • indigestion
  • weight regain
  • dehydration
  • constipation


  • Pain and discomfort for 6-8 weeks
  • Initial weight loss of 2-3 pounds per week
  • Weight loss will slow to a pound or so per week for the long-term (dependent on food choices)
  • Weight loss will slow significantly after 18 months

The average weight loss for this procedure is 40% of excess body weight in the first year, with an additional 10% to 20% in the second year.

Average Cost
Lap-band surgery will cost anywhere from $8,000 to $30,000 in the US, depending on your insurance, whether your surgeon is in-network, the length of your stay in the hospital, and geographical differences in cost.

To find a bariatric surgery specialist near you for a lap-band consultation, use the Vitals Doctor Finder.

Sources: livestrong.com and medicinenet.com