Background: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) has become one of the most common weight-loss procedures performed in the United States. The authors' high-volume academic medical center has gathered a database of almost 3,000 patients who have undergone LAGB since January 2001. The goal of this series, the largest to date on LAGB outcomes at a single institution, was to assess complications associated with LAGB.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using longitudinal data from adult patients who underwent LAGB between 1 January 2001, and 29 February 2008. General and band-related complications were reported for all patients. Death and reoperation for weight gain (LAGB followed by either a second band insertion or a gastric bypass) also were reported.
Results: Of the 2,965 patients who received LAGB during the study period, 2,909 met the criteria for inclusion in this analysis, and 363 (12.2%) experienced one or more complications. The most common complications were band slip (4.5%) and port-related problems (3.3%). Other complications were rare. Only seven patients (0.2%) had band erosion. Eleven patients (0.4%) underwent reoperation for weight gain. A total of 10 deaths (0.34%) occurred during the study period. Three patients died within 30 days of surgery. Two of these deaths (0.06%) were related to surgery, and one resulted from a motor vehicle accident. Seven patients died of causes unrelated to surgery during the course of the study.
Conclusions: The LAGB technique is a relatively safe procedure with few early or late complications. Few LAGB patients undergo reoperation for weight gain, and mortality is very rare.