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The “Birmingham stitch”—Avoiding Slippage in Laparoscopic Gastric Banding



Slippage rates of 1.4–24 % are frequently quoted after adjustable gastric banding. This complication can be extremely serious and has contributed to many units offering more invasive interventions in the surgical management of morbid obesity. We present results of the first 1,140 Laparoscopic Bands performed in our unit.


Between April 2003 and June 2007, 1140 consecutive patients, mean weight 121.5 kg (range 73–268 kg), mean body mass index (BMI) 44.3 kg/m2 (range 35–88) underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). An identical surgical technique of one gastropexy suture in addition to the two routine gastro–gastro tunnel sutures was used in all cases. Fluoroscopy-guided adjustments were performed at 3 and 6 months and fluoroscopic evaluations were performed later if clinically indicated.


There was no mortality and only one major septic complication of gastric perforation 1 week postoperatively which was managed conservatively. The mean stay was 1.02 days (range 0–30 days). Excess percent BMI loss in these patients at 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months were 25.4%, 34.7%, 38.3%, 41.1%, 43.7%, 44.4%, and 58.9%, respectively. Slippage with urgent readmission occurred in one patient (0.08%) at 5 months. Two partial slippages were noticed at 12 and 18 months, respectively. One patient had the band removed and the other was treated by band deflation and repositioning 6 months later.


These results demonstrate that in our unit, laparoscopic gastric band insertion is successful in producing weight loss and at the same time has a very low slippage and pouch dilatation rate. This difference is most probably secondary to operative technique.

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We would like to thank Dr Debbie Wai, Specialist Registrar, Radiology, West Midlands Deanery, for her help with the artwork required for this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rishi Singhal.

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Awarded first prize at the 12th World Congress of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity, Porto, Portugal, September 5–8, 2007.

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Singhal, R., Kitchen, M., Ndirika, S. et al. The “Birmingham stitch”—Avoiding Slippage in Laparoscopic Gastric Banding. OBES SURG 18, 359–363 (2008).

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  • Slippage
  • Banding
  • LAGB
  • Gastropexy
  • Obesity