Potential Side Effects of LAP-BAND Surgery

The LAP-BAND ® surgery is considered to be one of the safest weight-loss surgeries, but is not without its side effects. It is important to be as knowledgeable as possible before considering weight loss surgery, no matter how uncomplicated the surgery may seem.

Nausea/Vomiting, Diarrheaᅠand Dehydration

Nausea and vomiting is one of the most common side effects of a LAP-BAND ® surgery. Anti-nausea medications as per instructions may help to relieve these symptoms. Smoking can make nausea worse, as well as certain foods and drinks such as sweets, alcohol and foods containing saturated fats like baked goods. Some of the coarse fiber foods can also cause a nauseated feeling like peanuts and popcorn, or foods that contain seeds like kiwi and strawberries.

Most patients that experience diarrhea areᅠusually mainly on clear liquids. Once solid foods are introduced slowly and in small amounts, the diarrhea should subside. With vomiting and diarrhea, there is often dehydration. It is important to slowly try to replace the lost liquids and nutrients,ᅠeven if only done by way of sips.


Gas with associated pain and discomfort are also common symptoms after the procedure. Walking may help to ease some of the gas pains. Constipation may also be causing the gas and bloating.ᅠBe sure to check the medication, as prescribed pain relief pills with codeine will often cause constipation. If there is an irritation in the stomach that is causing the pain and it becomes aggravated, it could cause ulcers.ᅠᅠ


Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing is another side effect of the surgery. The pressure of the band can affect the esophagus, and may cause difficulty with swallowing and controlling the food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. If this problem becomes excessive and there is choking involved, liquids may be getting into the lungs and a second surgery may have to be performed to reposition the band.ᅠ

Internal Bleeding and Blood Clots

Internal bleeding is a severe side effect, but is rare with this type of surgery.ᅠWith this procedure, normally little to no bleeding occurs.

Blood clots can be dangerous after surgery. These are often caused from immobility. Along with following the doctor's recommendations and instructions, it is important to stay moderately mobile in order to prevent blood clots from forming.

LAP-BAND ® Erosion

Although rare, lap-band erosion can occur. This is when the stomach becomes so irritated that the band decays into the stomach.

Kink and Stomach Prolapse

A kink in the stomach or stomach prolapse is a possibility if the band slips or is not positioned properly.


With a LAP-BAND ® surgery, there are few chances of a wound site infection.ᅠInfections occur normally only if there is band erosion. If an infection occurs, the hospital stay may become longer. A few days may be necessary to control the infection or another surgery repair may need to be performed.

Leakage of the Balloon or Tubing

Leaking of the balloon or tubing is a possible side effect, but most qualified surgeons do a test to ensure that this does not happen. The doctorᅠnormally places colored die in the inflatable balloon. If it leaks, this would be noticed immediately.

Flipping of the Port

If the port flips over during a Lap-Band procedure, then it may not be accessible from the outside, requiring another surgery to position it back into place.

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