Background: As the number of laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands (LAGBs) placed has increased, the number of patients requiring removal of the device has also increased.
Methods: The data from our institution, a U.S. university medical center, were reviewed to determine the feasibility, patient characteristics, and early results of converting patients from LAGB to laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Results: A total of 350 patients underwent LAGB placement at our institution from 2001 to 2008. Of these, 26 required conversion to laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for the following reasons: slippage, poor weight loss, LAGB intolerance, esophageal dilation, infection, and gastric ischemia. All conversions were completed laparoscopically. The average operating time and length of stay was 160 minutes and 3 days, respectively. Three complications developed. The average interval to conversion was 29 months. The average follow-up after conversion was 18 months. The average percentage of excess body weight loss at conversion was 23%. At 12 months after conversion, the patients had achieved an average percentage of excess body weight loss of 56% from their pre-LAGB weight.
Conclusion: The increasing popularity of the LAGB has led to a considerable number of revisions of the device. Our early experience has shown that converting patients from LAGB to laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is feasible and safe and can offer patients substantial additional weight loss.