Morbid obesity is a rapidly increasing health risk in most industrialized countries. Unfortunately, conservative treatment methods will fail in the long run in almost 100% of patients. Today, long-lasting success can only be achieved by operative treatments. Laparoscopic gastric banding has the general benefits of minimally invasive techniques is relatively easy to perform and can be reversed or changed to any other operation aiming at weight loss, if necessary. We report here our primary and intermediate outcome of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB).
Since 1996-2001 we have treated 110 (87 women, 23 men) morbidly obese patients with the Swedish Adjustable Gastric Band (SAGB). Median age (range) of the patients was 42 years (21-64), and preoperative median body mass index (BMI, kg/m(2)) (range) was 44 (35-66). Most of the patients suffered from obesity related co-morbidities.
At a median follow-up of 27 months, mean weight loss was 30 kg, mean excess weight loss (range) 52% (11-108%), and median (range) BMI 34 (24-46). Reoperations due to band slippage (3 patients), band erosion (2 patients), infection (1 patient), and leakage of the band or the filling system (5 patients) have been necessary in 11 (10%) patients so far. Median postoperative hospital stay (range) was 3 days (2-53). There was no mortality. Immediate postoperative morbidity was 9%. More than 50% of the patients had signs of mild erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease during routine endoscopic follow-up 3 years after the operation.
Weight loss following LAGB is generally good and complications few, at least in the short term. However, technical problems with the band causes morbidity and reoperations in a number of patients. Despite this fact, we think the LAGB operation is the best 'first' operation in the treatment of morbid obesity, although long-term results are not yet available.