BACKGROUND: Gastric banding is one of the simplest surgical procedures for the treatment of morbid obesity. We performed more than 150 'laparotomy' (open) gastric bandings and more than 50 'laparoscopic' bandings in the last 1 0 years. METHODS: In most procedures we used non-adjustable bands, but since the beginning of 1995 we have used adjustable silicone banding. RESULTS: The 5- and 10-year follow-up weight loss results are encouraging. The average long-term weight loss was 35.5 kg. Since 1993, we performed all the procedures laparoscopically, and the postoperative complications decreased from 18.5% in the 'laparotomy' group to 9.5% in the 'laparoscopic' group, with the majority being esophagus and outlet area irritation. CONCLUSION: Gastric banding itself and especially the minimally invasive laparoscopic approach is an easy technical procedure. The long-term weight loss results and the reoperation rate are acceptable for bariatric surgery criteria.