Background: Obesity and its related comorbid illnesses have become a national health priority. We report comorbidity and quality of life (QoL) data after weight loss with gastric banding using the Swedish Adjustable Gastric Band (SAGB).
Methods: Data were collected prospectively for 838 consecutive morbidly obese patients who underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) between January 2001 and July 2007. Patients were followed-up by a multidisciplinary team consisting of a surgeon, physician, dietician, and exercise consultant, all of whom were involved in the evaluation of clinical outcomes. Continuous data were reported as mean +/- SD; categorical data were reported as number and percentage. Patients served as their own controls.
Results: Respective preoperative mean age, weight, and body mass index (BMI) were 44 years (range 16-76), 122 kg (range 86-240), and 44 kg/m2 (range 35-86), respectively. SAGB implantation was accomplished by the pars flaccida technique with no conversion to an open procedure. Mature follow-up data were available for 35% of patients at 24 months and 21% at 36 months. In the total cohort of 838 patients, BMI (mean +/- SD) decreased to 32 +/- 5 kg/m2 and 32 +/- 7 kg/m2 at 24 months and 36 months, respectively. Percentage excess weight loss (%EWL) (mean +/- SD) was 32% +/- 14% (n = 506), 47% +/- 15% (n = 461), 52% +/- 16% (n = 291), and 54% +/- 23% (n = 175) at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively (P < .001). There were 545 patients identified with comorbid illness at >6-month follow-up. After a median follow-up of 13 months (range 6-36 months), resolution and/or improvement of comorbidities was as follows: type 2 diabetes mellitus, 79%; metabolic syndrome, 78%; hypertension, 67%; dyslipidemia, 66%; gastroesophageal reflux, 66%; asthma, 57%; arthritis/joint pain, 70%; polycystic ovarian syndrome, 48%; and depression, 57%. There was a significant improvement in QoL (as measured by the Short Form-36 Health Survey [SF-36]), bringing patients' QoL to a level consistent with that of community norms in all 8 domain scores. Of 342 patients surveyed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), a statistically significant improvement in depressive mood was also observed (P < .001).
Conclusion: Weight loss achieved by use of the SAGB provides a dramatic reduction in many serious comorbid illnesses as well as improvement in the psychosocial wellbeing of morbidly obese patients.