LapBand® Surgery Effective Treatment for Super-Obesity

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Due to high complication rates, the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedure should be performed by an experienced bariatric surgeon.

A study published recently by Saint-Pierre University’s Department of Gastrointestinal and Obesity Surgery, in Belgium, found that laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, or LapBand®, is an effective procedure for the surgical treatment of super-obesity.

The study concentrated on 71 super-obese patients (super obesity is medically characterized as being at least 200 pounds overweight), who volunteered to participate in the surgical procedure. The surgery was performed by experienced bariatric surgeons using laparoscopic surgical methods.

The results of the study demonstrated conclusively that LapBand® bariatric surgery is effective in reducing weight in super-obese patients one year and five years after the bariatric procedure. The mean percentage of excess weight lost (EWL) was 39.2% at one year, and 60.5% at five years.

The study had a complication rate of 26.7%. Complications included five pouch dilations, five band migrations, and nine band leakages. Of significant note, the general surgeons were responsible for 15 postoperative complications, compared to four for bariatric surgeons, leading the study to conclude that because of the high complication rate, super-obese patients should only be operated on by experienced bariatric surgeons.

Asked to comment on the results, Dr. Gregg Jossart, of Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, said, “The study highlights the specialized nature of bariatric procedures and the complications that can arise, especially when operating on the super obese. I think the results demonstrate that patients should find a bariatric surgeon to perform these procedures. There is always a risk, and the best way to minimize that risk it is to go with the safest, most experienced option.”

Overall, mean BMI (Body Mass Index) for the 71 patients involved in the study fell from 55.5 before the procedure to 34.6 post-operation. It is also significant to note that there were no mortalities.

About Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco

Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco (LapSF) is a team of surgeons with a compassionate approach to patient care and a proven commitment to laparoscopic advancement for bariatric surgical procedures. Specializing in the four main bariatric procedures: roux-en-y gastric bypass, vertical gastrectomy, LapBand® and duodenal switch, LapSF has performed over 1,200 procedures, and is recognized by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) as a Center of Excellence.


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Craig Hordlow
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