Outcome after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding - 8 years experience

R Weiner, R Blanco-Engert, S Weiner, R Matkowitz, L Schaefer, I Pomhoff
Obesity Surgery 2003, 13 (3): 427-34

BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) has been our choice operation for morbid obesity since 1994. Despite a long list of publications about the LAGB during recent years, the evidence with regard to long-term weight loss after LAGB has been rather sparse. The outcome of the first 100 patients and the total number of 984 LAGB procedures were evaluated.

METHODS: 984 consecutive patients (82.5% female) underwent LAGB. Initial body weight was 132.2 +/- 23.9 SD kg and body mass index (BMI) was 46.8 +/- 7.2 kg/m(2). Mean age was 37.9 (18-65). Retrogastric placement was performed in 577 patients up to June 1998. Thereafter, the pars flaccida to perigastric (two-step technique) was used in the following 407 patients.

RESULTS: Mortality and conversion rates were 0. Follow-up of the first 100 patients has been 97% and ranges in the following years between 95% and 100% (mean 97.2%). Median follow-up of the first 100 patients who were available for follow-up was 98.9 months (8.24 years). Median follow-up of all patients was 55.5 months (range 99-1). Early complications were 1 gastric perforation after previous hiatal surgery and 1 gastric slippage (band was removed). All complications were seen during the first 100 procedures. Late complications of the first 100 cases included 17 slippages requiring reinterventions during the following years; total rate of slippage decreased later to 3.7%. Mean excess weight loss was 59.3% after 8 years, if patients with band loss are excluded. BMI dropped from 46.8 to 32.3 kg/m(2). 5 patients of the first 100 LAGB had the band removed, followed by weight gain; 3 of the 5 patients underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP) with successful weight loss after the redo-surgery. 14 patients were switched to a "banded" LRYGBP and 2 patients to a LRYGBP during 2001-2002. The quality of life indices were still improved in 82% of the first 100 patients. The percentages of good and excellent results were at the highest level at 2 years after LAGB (92%).

CONCLUSIONS: LAGB is safe, with a lower complication rate than other bariatric operations. Reoperations can be performed laparoscopically with low morbidity and short hospitalizations. The LAGB seems to be the basic bariatric procedure, which can be switched laparoscopically to combined bariatric procedures if treatment fails. After the learning curve of the surgeon, results are markedly improved. On the basis of 8 years long-term follow-up, it is an effective procedure.

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