LAP-BAND® Surgery (lap band surgery) is the most commonly performed bariatric surgical procedure in Australia, with over 70,000 procedures performed since 1994, (including between 6-7000 in Tasmania alone). Globally, over 850,000 surgeries of this nature have been conducted.

This is a procedure we perform at our Burnie, Launceston and Hobart locations.

The LAP-BAND® itself is nothing more than a band made from silicone. It consists of a balloon component that allows a controlled volume of fluid to be passed into, and out of the balloon. The fluid in this case, is a sterile saline solution. The LAP-BAND® is surgically inserted around the top of the stomach via laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, and applies a constant, albeit gentle pressure to that area of the stomach.

This creates a sensation of satiety (a feeling of fullness) to the brain’s main control, and “tricks” it into thinking that the stomach is far fuller than it actually is. The result is a reduction in the amount of food a patient consumes during mealtimes.

The LAP-BAND® is connected to an access port, which is fixed during surgery beneath the skin of your abdomen. This port is what is used to variably adjust the level of volume within the balloon according to the patient’s requirements. Adjusting the lap band is a straightforward procedure, and only takes a minute at most. The aim is to adjust the Band so you are in the ‘green-zone’ which is the optimal zone for weight loss. This is a procedure that we at the Tasmania Anti-Obesity Surgery Centre perform often.

Lap Band Surgery is a tried and tested method for helping obese individuals lose weight. For many, weight loss can occur with very little inconvenience to their daily routines.

This is because they (the patients) are consuming less food, and thus consuming less energy, yet since their energy output does not change (assuming there is little to no change to their daily routines)

This ‘output’ of energy becomes greater than the amount of energy taken in from food consumption, and thus the body begins to burn its fat stores rather than store the excess energy as fat.

The Tasmanian Anti-Obesity Surgery Centre has a significantly large amount of experience in performing lap band surgery, especially in the critical multidisciplinary aftercare support through our collaboration with specifically trained nutritionists, exercise consultants, psychologists and nursing staff.

This is also the case for those living in Burnie and Launceston who are interested in learning about how lap band surgery could help them lose weight for good.



This procedure is typically done using a keyhole surgery, or “laparoscopic” procedure. Small incisions are made in the patient and the inflatable silicone band is surgically inserted into the abdomen.

This functions almost exactly like a watch strapped to one’s wrist. It is fastened around the top part of the stomach and can be tightened or loosened depending on the patient’s comfort levels. The objective is to achieve an optimal level of pressure around that portion of the stomach, as this causes the brain to “think” the stomach is in fact full and thus register a feeling of satiety. As a result less food is consumed consistently during meal times, and the patient loses weight.


As there is no cutting, stabling or re-routing of any digestive components (as with a gastric bypass) the LAP-BAND® Surgery technique is considered the least traumatic of all the bariatric procedures.

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 at a later date, at either the request of the patient or the recommendations of the surgeon, the stomach generally returns to its original form.


The LAP-BAND® System is also the only adjustable bariatric procedure. The diameter of the band is adjustable for a customized weight-loss rate. Effectively, adjusting the pressure of the band on your stomach upper portion will control your level of hunger since it directly correlates against your feelings of satiety.

As an 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.

The band can be inflated or deflated with the saline solution to adjust the pressure it imposes on the upper stomach. This is achieved via the band port that surgically inserted in the abdomen well below the skin during surgery.

Post-operation, the level of saline solution in the band can be controlled by the surgeon

LAP-BAND® Surgery Benefits:

  • Adjustable, and can be removed.
  • The surgery can be performed laparoscopically (keyhole) through small incisions
  • The internal anatomy of the bowel and stomach is left almost entirely unchanged
  • Significantly ower risks & complication rates compared than other bariatric procedures
  • The band presses on the stomach creating sensations of fullness.
  • The lap band can be easily altered in its pressure application to help control hunger sensations
  • Only small amounts of food can be eaten at any given sitting since the tiny pouch above the band
  • Though weight loss surgery patients tend to have many other serious illnesses, the comparable risk of lap band surgery is about the same as for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).
  • Locally available to residents in Burnie, Launceston and Hobart
  • Dr Wilkinson also travels regularly within Tasmania for consultations.



  • Least invasive surgical option
  • No intestinal re-routing
  • No invasive cutting or stitchin / stapling of the bowel or stomach
  • Greater likelihood of a reduced stay in hospital and discomfort post-surgery


  • Significantly lower mortality risk than other obesity surgery procedures
  • Lower risk of nutritional deficiencies than gastric bypass
  • Reduced risk of hair loss
  • Dietary intake restriction such as “dumping syndrome” are eliminated


  • Adjustments to the band to aid in weight loss can be performed without the need for any additional surgical procedures
  • Supports pregnancy by allowing fluid to be removed for increased nutritional needs


  • Removable at any time, often as day surgery
  • If removed, the stomach will typically return to its original form and dimensions


  • More than 850,000 cases performed worldwide
  • Hundreds of clinics / centres globally operate to a standard of care
  • 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.