Background: Since the first laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) operation on September 1, 1993, there have been important publications related to this procedure. The majority of the articles reported surgical technique and short-term results. Long-term results of LAGB are lacking. The authors report long-term data (at least 4 years) from 3 major bariatric centers in Belgium that perform LAGB routinely.
Methods: The 3 centers applied the same patient selection criteria, the same standard surgical technique, the same laparoscopic band (Lap-Band) and the same follow-up program. 763 patients have been enrolled. Sex ratio was 22% male/78% female. Mean age was 34 years, and mean preoperative BMI was 42 kg/m2.
Results: The follow-up rate was 90%, and the minimum follow-up time was 4 years. The average BMI after 4 years was 30 kg/m2. Early complications were: gastric perforation 4 (0.5%); large bowel perforation 1 (0.1%); bleeding 1 (0.1%); and conversion to open 10 (1.3%). Late complications were: erosion 7 (0.9%); total food intolerance 59 (8%); access port problems 20 (2.5%); re-operations 80 (11.1%); death 1 (0.1%).
Conclusion: Long-term results of LAGB have been rarely reported, although publications on the procedure are copious. Our long-term data found that BMI evolution is good, the complication and re-operation rates are acceptable and the overall long-term results of the Lap-Band system are good.