In a recent study entitled “Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band: 4-year experience and learning curve,” researchers highlighted the benefits to morbid obese patients who underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery. They report that within 3 years, patients lost more than 50% of excess weight, and therefore confirm laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding as an effective treatment for morbid obesity. The study was published in the Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (JSLS).
Obesity is a health-related socioeconomic epidemic affecting individuals of all ages, including children. In fact, the World Health Organization estimated in 2011 that more than 40 million children (under 5 years old) were obese.
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is one of the most common surgical procedures to treat morbid obesity. It involves placement of an adjustable band around the upper part of patients’ stomach limiting the amount of food a person desires to eat.
In this new study, a team of clinicians report the results obtained by a surgeon who has been performing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery for 4 years. The revised period reported in the study includes all the surgeries performed between October 2006 and May 2010, which accounted for 156 patients who underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. The study and patients’ outcomes were determined in 3 groups, with patients being divided by group I, II and III, with each group including approximately 50 patients each (group III had 56 patients).
The majority of patients who underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding were females (133 female patients versus 33 males) and a median age of 38 years old. Within one year after the surgery, patients registered a 41.7% weight loss. This increased to 49.7% in the second year follow-up visit and peaked to 50.2% in the third year after surgery. Authors reported no differences in post-surgery complication among the different groups of patients and no deaths were registered.
The authors highlight that the results confirm previous reports that laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is a highly effective treatment for morbid obesity, resulting in more than 50% of excess weight loss in 3 years after surgery. The surgical procedure achieved a progressive and durable weight loss. Additionally, authors report an overall complication rate of 15.4% in patients who underwent the surgery and zero deaths. Finally, the team established that at least 50 operations is the number of surgeries required for a surgeon to master the technique.