, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 532-536
Date: 30 Apr 2014

A 3-year experience with laparoscopic gastric banding for obesity

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Background: The introduction of laparoscopic techniques—especially that of gastric banding—and the fact that conservative management does not provide satisfactory long-term results in patients with morbid obesity has resulted in a marked increase in the demand for bariatric surgery in our department since 1995. In this paper, we present our experience during the first 3 years with this approach.

Methods: Data for all patients who had bariatric surgery at our institution were collected prospectively. They were analyzed for the purpose of this study.

Results: A total of 150 patients were operated on between December 1995 and December 1998 (37 months). There were 130 women and 20 men, with a mean age of 37.5 years (range, 19–62). The mean initial excess body weight was 102.9% (range, 58–191%), and the mean initial body mass index (BMI) was 44.6 kg/m2 (range, 35.1–64.1). A Lapband was used in 101 cases and a SAGB in 47 cases. In two patients in whom conversion was necessary, we performed a vertical banded gastroplasty. Duration of surgery decreased over time from 210 min (first 20 cases) to 73 min (last 20 cases). Six patients (4%) developed major complications, one of whom died. The median duration of postoperative hospital stay was 3 days. The mean follow-up was 17 months. In all, 24 patients (16%) developed late complications, and 22 (14.6%) required reoperation, mainly for band slippage and/or pouch dilatation (14 cases). An incorrect surgical technique used for the first 30 patients (Lapband within the lesser sac) was responsible for more than half of these complications. The mean excess weight loss was 34% at 6 months, 55% at 1 year, and 56% at 2 years. Compared to vertical banded gastroplasty (197 cases between 1981 and 1995), postoperative morbidity was greatly decreased, late morbidity was similar, and weight loss was equivalent.

Conclusions: Laparoscopic gastric banding is followed by a weight reduction that is similar to that observed after vertical banded gastroplasty, with a much lower postoperative morbidity, a shorter hospital stay, and an earlier resumption of normal activities. If these results can be confirmed by long-term follow-up, laparoscopic gastric banding will be confirmed as the restrictive procedure of choice for morbid obesity.

Received: 20 July 1999/Accepted: 16 December 1999/Online publication: 8 May 2000