High Failure Rate After Laparoscopic Adjustable Silicone Gastric Banding for Treatment of Morbid Obesity

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To report the results from one of the eight original U.S. centers performing laparoscopic adjustable silicone gastric banding (LASGB), a new minimally invasive surgical technique for treatment of morbid obesity.

Summary Background Data

Laparoscopic adjustable silicone gastric banding is under evaluation by the Food & Drug Administration in the United States in an initial cohort of 300 patients.


Of 37 patients undergoing laparoscopic placement of the LASGB device, successful placement occurred in 36 from March 1996 to May 1998. Patients have been followed up for up to 4 years.


Five patients (14%) have been lost to follow-up for more than 2 years but at last available follow-up (3–18 months after surgery) had achieved only 18% (range 5–38%) excess weight loss. African American patients had poor weight loss after LASGB compared with whites. The LASGB devices were removed in 15 (41%) patients 10 days to 42 months after surgery. Four patients underwent simple removal; 11 were converted to gastric bypass. The most common reason for removal was inadequate weight loss in the presence of a functioning band. The primary reasons for removal in others were infection, leakage from the inflatable silicone ring causing inadequate weight loss, or band slippage. The patients with band slippage had concomitant poor weight loss. Bands were removed in two others as a result of symptoms related to esophageal dilatation. In 18 of 25 patients (71%) who underwent preoperative and long-term postoperative contrast evaluation, a significantly increased esophageal diameter developed; of these, 13 (72%) had prominent dysphagia, vomiting, or reflux symptoms. Of the remaining 21 patients with bands, 8 currently desire removal and conversion to gastric bypass for inadequate weight loss. Six of the remaining patients have persistent morbid obesity at least 2 years after surgery but refuse to undergo further surgery or claim to be satisfied with the results. Overall, only four patients achieved a body-mass index of less than 35 and/or at least a 50% reduction in excess weight. Thus, the overall need for band removal and conversion to GBP in this series will ultimately exceed 50%.


The authors did not find LASGB to be an effective procedure for the surgical treatment of morbid obesity. Complications after LASGB include esophageal dilatation, band leakage, infection, erosion, and slippage. Inadequate weight loss is common, particularly in African American patients. More study is required to determine the long-term efficacy of the LASGB

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