Weight Loss and Quality of Life After Gastric Band Removal or Deflation
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The study aim was to retrospectively assess whether patients were able to maintain their weight after gastric band removal or deflation and how they felt about gastric banding.
A total of 41 patients (93% female, mean age 34.1 (SD 10.5) years) were included in this study: patients who had their band removed/deflated without further surgical intervention (group 1, n = 26) and those who later underwent a second bariatric operation (group 2, n = 15). We evaluated weight gain after band removal/during the time between band removal and second bariatric operation.
Of our patients, 31 (76%) suffered a complication (18 late pouch dilatations, six band infections, five band migrations, and two band leaks) requiring band removal. Ten patients wanted their band removed (six) or emptied (four). Mean time after band removal, when patients had neither a band nor a second bariatric operation, was 2.84 (SD 2.3) years. Five (12.2%) patients maintained their weight, four of whom experienced a learning effect; all others gained weight. Mean body mass index for both groups after the period without a band was 36.7 (SD 8.0) kg/m2 (vs 29.4 (SD 7.0) at removal), and excess weight loss was 33.2% (SD 39.2; vs 69.8% (SD 32.9) at removal). Of our patients, 73% would not agree to gastric banding again. According to the bariatric analysis and reporting outcome system, long-term outcome of patients following band removal was a “failure” in 66% of patients.
Long-term outcome following band removal is unsatisfactory in many patients. Nevertheless, a minority of patients was able to maintain its weight loss.