Objective: To determine the long-term efficacy and safety of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) for morbid obesity.
Design: Clinical assessment in the surgeon's office in 2009 (≥12 years after LAGB).
Setting: University obesity center in Brussels, Belgium.
Patients: A total of 151 consecutive patients who had benefited from LAGB between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 1997, were contacted for evaluation.
Intervention: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.
Main outcome measures: Mortality rate, number of major and minor complications, number of corrective operations, number of patients who experienced weight loss, evolution of comorbidities, patient satisfaction, and quality of life were evaluated.
Results: The median age of patients was 50 years (range, 28-73 years). The operative mortality rate was zero. Overall, the rate of follow-up was 54.3% (82 of 151 patients). The long-term mortality rate from unrelated causes was 3.7%. Twenty-two percent of patients experienced minor complications, and 39% experienced major complications (28% experienced band erosion). Seventeen percent of patients had their procedure switched to laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Overall, the (intention-to-treat) mean (SD) excess weight loss was 42.8% (33.92%) (range, 24%-143%). Thirty-six patients (51.4%) still had their band, and their mean excess weight loss was 48% (range, 38%-58%). Overall, the satisfaction index was good for 60.3% of patients. The quality-of-life score (using the Bariatric Analysis and Reporting Outcome System) was neutral.
Conclusion: Based on a follow-up of 54.3% of patients, LAGB appears to result in a mean excess weight loss of 42.8% after 12 years or longer. Of 78 patients, 47 (60.3%) were satisfied, and the quality-of-life index was neutral. However, because nearly 1 out of 3 patients experienced band erosion, and nearly 50% of the patients required removal of their bands (contributing to a reoperation rate of 60%), LAGB appears to result in relatively poor long-term outcomes.