The LAP-BAND® System
FDA Approved Stomach Band

"LAP-BAND>® System" is the official brand name of one FDA approved stomach band used in adjustable gastric band surgery.

Origins of the name

Gastric band surgery is usually done laparoscopically...thus the name "Lap Band."

What do "kleenex" tissues and "lap band" have in common?

The term "kleenex" is often used to describe any tissue even though Kleenex® is a trademarked name. When someone sneezes, you offer them a "kleenex," whether it's Kleenex® brand, Scotties® brand, or generic tissue, right?

Similarly, "lap band" is commonly used to refer to a gastric band operation regardless of the brand of stomach band that's used. But just for the record, LAP-BAND® is a registered U.S. trademark of Allergan, Inc.

Please note when I use the term "LAP-BAND>®" on this website, it's in a general sense to describe stomach band surgery regardless of which stomach band brand (say that fast 10 times!) you have/are getting, but I'll always acknowledge the trademark name.

This is an informational site only and I am not affiliated with Allergan or the LAP-BAND® System.

I also use the general terms "stomach band," "gastric band" and "belly band" to describe adjustable gastric band surgery.

There are currently only two brands of approved adjustable gastric bands available in the United States (as of 12/08):

  • The LAP-BAND® System (received US FDA approval in 2001)
  • The Realize® Band (received US FDA approval in 2007)

Read more on the gastric banding procedure.


If you're a US citizen planning to go to Mexico for Lap-Band® surgery, make sure you're getting a US FDA approved band.

You should have a stomach band that's approved for use in the US if you are planning to return to the US and follow up with a US doctor. Otherwise, you could run into some compatibility issues when trying to get your fills.

So ask questions and make sure you know exactly which brand of gastric band you'll be receiving. I'd even go as far as to ask for the box so that you can see what you got. Even better...

...stay in the US for your surgery :)

More of My Professional Advice You May Find Useful

Gastric Band Operation: Overview.

Diet after a gastric banding procedure.

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