Recently, Allergan announced its decision to sell off its obesity intervention business, including its Lap Band gastric banding system. The Lap Band has been a well-known adjustable surgical treatment option for obesity and FDA approved since 2001. After an almost 50% decline in sales over the last 3 years, Allergan said last year it was reviewing strategic options for the obesity unit, then announced in its February quarterly earnings report of its decision to sell the unit.

With this recent turn of events, many surgeons and investment analysts are wondering what this means for the Lap Band industry? Will anyone step forward to acquire the gastric banding system or will it become a thing of the past. Our Los Angeles-based bariatric surgeons are focused on offering the latest in weight loss surgery and providing optimal care to its patients.

“It is very odd, if not concerning, when a company wants to unload its once prized product,” said Dr. Amir Mehran, board certified bariatric surgeon and Medical Director for the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. “It makes one wonder if they are concerned over long term side effects of the device (as is now being seen overseas), and they don’t want to be owning it once that happens in the U.S.”

If you would like to know more about banding and other weight loss surgery options on the market, call us today at (888) 391-0182. We offer lap band removal procedures for people suffering from adverse side effects.

The Decline of Lap Band Sales

In 2009, annual revenue of the obesity intervention business unit peaked at $296 million but has declined steadily since that high water mark. In 2012, Allergan said it would no longer sell Lap Band to surgery centers affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN ads once prominent in Southern California after five patients died in the clinics. In the fourth quarter 2012, the Lap Band unit sales declined by 21.5% to $36.8 million according to Allergan’s earnings statement. In an obesity market that once generated about a third of Allergan’s US sales, the latest earnings report revealed that share declined to less than 2.5%, according to Bloomberg.

Allergan’s Response to the Shift

Allergan has since reclassified the obesity unit as a “discontinued” operation. Allergan has also discontinued development of the Easyband Remote Adjustable Gastric Band System, a technology Allergan acquired in 2007.  The company also makes the Orbera gastric balloon system. The company says it expects to have an agreement of sale executed by July.

“If it is sold, will the new buyer stand behind the product as Allergan did for example when problems arise?” Dr. Mehran asked. “This is similar to auto companies that shut down or are sold off. What happens to the warranties, service agreements, and ‘spare parts’ availability?”

Knowing Your Surgical Weight Loss Options

The Lap Band is only one of many banding and bariatric surgery options on the market. While banding is available, there are various surgical options available to patients that bear great results and carry reduced risks and/or side effects. Some other bariatric options include: gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.

You can find out more by speaking with one of our doctors at the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. We can provide you other banding and weight loss surgery options. Our goal is to provide information on all safe and effective methods of weight loss to our patients. We can educate you on the latest advancements in bariatric surgery, and based on your history, provide you with options that best meet your needs.

Call the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles

Patients should think about getting their lap bands checked out before something happens or its too late. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our board-certified bariatric specialists, contact us by calling (888) 391-0182 or filling out our online contact form. Our Los Angeles team can meet with you, discuss your weight loss goals, and help determine which weight loss surgery procedure is right for you!