What is LAP BAND® Surgery?

LAP-BAND® Surgery is the most common performed bariatric procedure in Australia with over 70,000 procedures performed since 1994, and over 850,000 procedures performed worldwide.

lapbandLAP-BAND® Surgery is the most common performed bariatric procedure in Australia with over 70,000 procedures performed since 1994, and over 850,000 procedures performed worldwide. The LAP-BAND® is a silicone band which has a ‘balloon’ on the inner part, allowing fluid to be added to increase or decrease the overall volume. The LAP-BAND® is placed around the top of the stomach via laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, and works by applying a constant, gentle pressure to this area. This sends a signal of satiety (a feeling of fullness) to the brain, therefore reducing the amount of food a patient can eat. The LAP-BAND® is connected to an access port, which is fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. The port is then used to fill the band with the correct amount of fluid based on the patient’s needs. A ‘fill’ or ‘Lap Band Adjustment’ is a simple office procedure taking a few seconds. The aim is to adjust the Band so you are in the ‘green-zone’ which is the optimal zone for weight loss.


The benefits of the LAP-BAND® Surgery are:

  • It is adjustable and reversible
  • The surgery is performed laparoscopically (keyhole) through small incisions
  • There are no major cuts to the abdomen
  • The internal anatomy of the bowel and stomach is left almost entirely unchanged, so if the band is removed the bowel is left essentially unchanged from normal
  • Very much lower risks & complication rates compared than other bariatric procedures
  • The band presses on the stomach creating sensations of fullness.
  • The band can be adjusted to increase or decrease hunger sensations
  • Only small amounts of food can be eaten at once because of the tiny pouch above the band
  • Even though weight loss surgery patients often have many other serious illnesses, the comparable risk is about the same as for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).


The LAP-BAND® Procedure Overview


tasmania_lap_bandLap-band® is a minimally invasive approach

During the procedure, surgeons usually use laparoscopic techniques (using small incisions and long-shafted instruments), to implant an inflatable silicone band into the patient’s abdomen. Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the top part of the stomach; when the band is optimally adjusted, it applies a gentle pressure and which gives the sensation of satiety (a feeling of fullness), therefore patients eat less which results in weight loss.


LAP-BAND® is less invasive

Since there is no cutting, stapling or stomach re-routing involved in the LAP-BAND® Surgery, it is considered the least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to the procedure also offers the advantages of reduced post-operative pain, shortened hospital stays and quicker recovery times. If for any reason the LAP-BAND® System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.


LAP-BAND® is an adjustable treatment

The LAP-BAND® System is also the only adjustable weight loss surgery. The diameter of the band is adjustable for a customized weight-loss rate. Your individual needs can change as you lose weight. For example, pregnant patients can have fluid removed from their band to accommodate a growing baby, while patients who aren’t experiencing significant weight loss can have their bands tightened.

To modify the size of the band, its inner surface can be inflated or deflated with a saline solution. The band is connected by tubing to an access port, which is placed well below the skin during surgery. After the operation, the surgeon can control the amount of saline in the band by entering the port with a fine needle through the skin.


The finer details about the LAP-BAND® Procedure

Minimal trauma

  • Least invasive surgical option
  • No intestinal re-routing
  • No cutting or stapling of the stomach wall or bowel
  • Reduced patient pain, hospital length-of-stay and recovery period

Fewer risks and side effects

  • Significantly lower mortality risk than other obesity surgery procedures
  • Lower risk of nutritional deficiencies than gastric bypass
  • Reduced risk of hair loss
  • No “dumping syndrome” related to dietary intake restrictions


  • An optimally adjusted band allows long-term weight loss Adjustments performed without additional surgery
  • Supports pregnancy by allowing fluid to be removed for increased nutritional needs


  • Removable at any time
  • Stomach and other anatomy are generally restored to their original forms and functions

Effective long-term weight loss

  • More than 180,000 cases performed worldwide
  • Standard of care for hundreds of practices around the world
  • Academic publications and data with up to 20 years of follow-up


Find out about more information on the obesity services provided:



* Requested Medicare items processed for item numbers 30511, 30512 and 30518 in 2009.

Contact Us

If you think you are ready to start your journey to good health contact our centre today!

Dr. Stephen Wilkinson – Tasmania Antiobesity Surgery Centre

Hobart Private Hospital
Suite 1, Ground Floor
Cnr Collins and Argyle Streets
Hobart TAS 7000

Ph: 03 6214 3063
03 6214 3066
Fax: 03 6214 3064

North West Private Hospital
21 Brickport Road
Burnie TAS 7320

Ph: 03 6432 6000
Fax: 03 6432 6099