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, 17 (3), 329-33

Band Erosion Following Gastric Banding: How to Treat It


Band Erosion Following Gastric Banding: How to Treat It

Ezio Lattuada et al. Obes Surg.


Background: Intragastric band migration is an unusual but major long-term complication of gastric banding: its frequency ranges from 0.5-3.8% and always requires removal of the band. Different laparoscopic, laparotomic or endoscopic methods are currently used for band removal.

Methods: 571 morbidly obese patients underwent adjustable gastric banding from February 1998 to July 2006. Band erosion occurred in 3 patients (0.52%). In addition, 6 such patients were referred to our Department from other hospitals. To remove the migrated band, in most patients we used an endoscopic approach with a device designed to cut the band: the Gastric Band Cutter (AMI, Agency for Medical Innovation).

Results: In 7 of the 9 patients, we used the gastric band cutter to remove the band endoscopically. It was able to cut the band successfully in all cases except one, where twisting of the cutting wire required conversion from endoscopy to laparoscopy. In another case, the band, after being cut, was locked in the gastric wall and required laparotomic removal. In 2 patients, we had to remove the band surgically - in one case for port-site infection with subphrenic abscess, and in the other case for complete band migration into the jejunum associated with acute pancreatitis, cholelithiasis and choledocholithiasis.

Conclusion: The Gastric Band Cutter, when used, was successful in dividing the band in all cases except one, although we could not always complete the procedure endoscopically. Endoscopic removal seems to be the procedure of choice for band erosion, because it allows earlier patient discharge and avoids a surgical operation. It is advisable to perform the endoscopic removal in the operating theater, because of possible complications of the procedure.

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