Adjustable gastric band surgery brings serious risks, says study
(CBS) For many, adjustable gastric band surgery has become a life saver - helping the obese dramatically lose weight and thus help with diabetes and heart disease. But new research suggests the procedure is burdened with unforeseen medical consequences, including additional surgeries and even having the band removed.
Doctors at the European School of Laparoscopic Surgery in Brussels, Belgium studied 82 patients at least 12 years after they had undergone the procedure. Almost 40 percent reported major complications, nearly half had to have the bands removed and 60 percent needed more surgery.
The researchers didn't mince words. "The high failure rate of LAGB (laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding), at least in our hands, could be detrimental to its future continued widespread use as a restrictive weight loss operation," they concluded.
But that's not the full story. The patients they tracked also lost a lot of weight. The mean excess weight loss was 43 percent. Also, 60 percent of the patients said they were satisfied with their experience.
So what does it mean for people considering the procedure? It seems for now, they will have to weigh the benefits for themselves.
The study will appear in the July issue of the Archives of Surgery.
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