BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) is a safe technique with few direct postoperative complications. However, long-term complications such as slippage and pouch dilatation are a well-known problem and re-operations are necessary in a substantial number of patients. In this study, the results of laparoscopic re-operations after LAGB are evaluated. METHODS: 33 patients had a re-operation because of failed LAGB. 29 patients had major re-operation and 4 patients minor re-operation under local anesthesia. The charts of these patients were retrospectively studied. RESULTS: Mean time between the first band placement and re-operation was 28.1 +/- 17.6 months. The cause of band dysfunction was anterior slippage (n=17), band erosion (n=5), band intolerance (n=3), posterior slippage (n=2) and band leakage (n=2). Symptoms of band dysfunction were vomiting (n=16), pyrosis (n=13), nausea (n=8), retrosternal pain (n=11) and regurgitation (n=5). Laparoscopic refixation of the band was performed in 19 patients: the band was replaced in 4 patients while in 1 patient the band was removed; in 3 patients, the laparoscopic procedure was converted to open surgery; 5 patients underwent conversion to a bypass procedure (biliopancreatic diversion in 3 and gastric bypass in 2). There were no direct postoperative complications except for wound infections (n=2). Postoperative follow-up was 100% with a mean period of 34 +/- 19 months. BMI decreased further from 37.5 +/- 6.4 kg/m(2) before re-operation to 33 +/- 7 kg/m(2). Obesity-related co-morbidity also decreased further or completely dissolved. 3 patients (9%) again developed anterior slippage and a second laparoscopic re-operation was necessary. CONCLUSIONS: A laparoscopic re-operation for band-related complications after LAGB is safe and feasible. With band slippage, a laparoscopic refixation was possible in 89%. Re-operation leads to further decrease in BMI and obesity-related co-morbidities.