Half of gastric bands fail, study claims

Half of patients with gastric bands are forced to have them removed within nine years due to complications, research suggests.

Research led by Dr Jacques Himpens of Saint Pierre University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium found laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) had relatively poor long-term outcomes. This included a 60% re-operation rate.

The findings come after a previous study found gastric banding was less effective than gastric bypass at helping patients to lose weight.

Researchers contacted 151 patients 12 years after they had LAGB surgery. Among the 82 respondents, 28% experienced band erosion, diagnosed on average just four years after surgery.

Half had their bands removed over a nine-year period.

Patients who retained their band lost on average 48% of weight, compared to just 22% in those who had their band removed.

Researchers said: ‘The high failure rate of LAGB could be detrimental to its future continued widespread use as a restrictive weight loss operation.’

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