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Obesity and Weight Management

Lap Band procedure



I am obese and have tried numerous diets to try to lose weight. Recently I`ve seen commercials on TV regarding the Lap Band, and I was curious to know if perhaps that type of procedure would be good for me. Can you tell me what the typical requirements are for someone to be eligible for that procedure? How does the Lap Band work? Thanks!


Surgical weight loss is not a replacement for either diet control or exercise. It must be used in conjunction with both. It should also only be used as a last option, when all other attempts have failed. It is FDA-approved for patient with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 with health problems like hypertension, diabetes, or sleep apnea, or a BMI of 40 with or without those health problems. Typically, patients are at least one hundred pounds over weight.

There are several options for surgical weight loss. One of the newer options is the gastric band, commonly called "The Lap Band (Allergan)" or the "Reality Band (Ethicon)". It is a flexible band that is placed around the junction of the esophagus and stomach to restrict the amount of food that is able to be eaten. It also can help control appetite. There is a tube which attaches the band to a reservoir under the skin, the port, in which fluid is injected by needle to adjust the tightness of the band.

You can check your BMI with the calculator on

Additional information about our academic surgical weight loss program at the University of Cincinnati can be found at:

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Response by:

Lisa  Martin Hawver, MD Lisa Martin Hawver, MD
Formerly Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
No longer associated