Dr Evan Willingham
Toowoomba Bariatric Surgery​
Downs Specialist Centre
146 Mackenzie Street
East Toowoomba  Qld  4350
Phone: 07 4580 0828
Fax:      07 4580 0829

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In Summary

There is no guarantee that the gastric band will work without fault indefinitely; however the gastric band has been in clinical use since 1987. It is important that a patient understands the possibility of re-operation is an integral part of the overall management of morbid obesity. Re-operations are considered a technical measure that is sometimes necessary.

Punctures in the silicone band and port dislocation

  • The injection port may dislocate.
  • When injecting into the port, there is always the risk of puncturing the silicone tube.
​However, should either of the above occur, both can easily be corrected with a small operation under local anaesthesia.



Leakage from the gastric band or from the connecting tube between the balloon and the port may require re-operation. The balloon is made of fragile material, and leakage can occur either shortly after surgery, or many years later. In the event of leakage, the gastric band can normally be easily replaced with a new one. With improvements to material this is a rare complication, but you must be aware that there is a possible risk that, in the long term, the band may need to be replaced with a new one.

Slippage of the band and pouch dilatation

The band may slip, and the pouch (the part of the stomach above the band) may become too enlarged, and a re-operation may be necessary.

Infection and Migration


​An infection may develop either in the port area or in the abdomen, and in some instances this may cause the band to migrate into the stomach. In such a case, re-operation is normally necessary. Most of the complications linked to migrations have occurred as a result of too much fluid being injected into the Lap Band. Infections can lead to erosion of the band. This means the band can erode into the stomach and will need to be removed.

When is Laparoscopic Gastric Banding Recommended?

Generally, laparoscopic gastric banding is recommended for those over 18 years of age, who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40+, or 35+ and are suffering from problems with their obesity, and have made serious efforts to lose weight. If you believe laparoscopic gastric banding is a good option for you, see your doctor.


  • Keyhole approach: less scarring or wound problems, earlier return to work (1-2 weeks)
  • Adjustable: by filling port the outlet size can be reduced
  • Reversible: by removing fluid or the band.
  • No malabsorbtion of nutrients
  • Lower risk.



  • Easy to cheat: if chocolates or sweets taken.
  • Mechanical problems:
    • prolapse
    • pouch dilatation
    • food bolus obstruction
    • slippage of the stomach through the band erosion
    • infection of the band or port leak
    • Revision rate 5 -10%
  • An entree portion forever.

Optimal pouch capacity 30 mls. Usual weight loss with the Gastric Band is 40-50% of excess weight lost in 2 yrs.


All surgery has risks and obesity surgery is no different. It is not perfect.Operations have complications which can occur regardless of the operation type and there are also complications specific to a particular operation.


Laparoscopic Gastric Banding is the placement of a band around the top of the stomach through Laparoscopic (keyhole) Surgery.

The gastric band is designed to induce weight loss by encouraging satiety (a sense of fullness), even without food and to restrict the amount of food that the stomach can hold before signalling it is full.​

The gastric band is made of silicone and a balloon lines the inside. An access port, connected to the band by tubing, is placed in the abdomen wall, which allows saline solution to be added or removed to change the size of the band.

​As the procedure is done laparoscopically, there is no major opening of the abdomen required, and no cutting or potentially permanent alteration to the stomach or intestines. It is also a reversible procedure.

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding

Weight Loss Surgery