Twelve-Year Experience with Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass as a Conversional Procedure for Vertical Banded Gastroplasty: Are We on the Right Track?

  • Talal KhewaterEmail author
  • Nathalie Yercovich
  • Edouard Grymonprez
  • Julie Horevoets
  • Jan Paul Mulier
  • Bruno Dillemans
Original Contributions



Vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) has high rates of long-term complications. Conversion to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is considered optimal; however, there are limited data on the late results of these conversions. We aimed to analyze our single-center long-term outcomes of patients requiring conversional RYGB for a failed VBG.


The records of patients who underwent RYGB as a conversional procedure after VBG from November 2004 to December 2016 were reviewed. Follow-up data were obtained by direct telephone calls with patients, electronic files, and general practitioner reports. Characteristics, indications of conversion, long-term (> 30 days) morbidities, weight records, obesity-related comorbidities, and overall patient satisfaction were analyzed.


Overall, 305 VBG patients (82% female) underwent conversional RYGB during the study period. The mean pre-RYGB body mass index (BMI) was 35.6 (23–66) kg/m2. Conversions were indicated in 61% of patients because of simultaneous VBG complications and weight regain. After a median follow-up of 74.3 (5–151) months, 225 (73.8%) patients agreed to participate. The mean BMI and percentage of total weight loss (%TWL) were 28.6 (18–45) kg/m2 and 17.4%, respectively. Nearly all conversion indications were addressed effectively. Surgical reintervention was mandatory in 28 of 225 patients (12.4%) due to complications. Approximately 85% of patients reported complete remission of obesity-related comorbidities, and four-fifths were fully satisfied.


RYGB resolves VBG complications, improves quality of life, and results in prolonged stable weight loss. It has a key role in the management of obesity-related comorbidities and in expert hands is the preferred conversional procedure for patients with failed VBG.


Vertical banded gastroplasty Conversion surgery Mason procedure MacLean procedure RYGB High-volume center 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Prior to undergoing the conversional procedures, all patients provided written informed consent to have their data used anonymously for academic purposes. All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The local ethics committee of AZ Sint-Jan Hospital Institutional Review Board approved the study protocol.

Informed Consent

Prior to the procedure, all patients provided written and witnessed consent that included their agreement to undergo the procedure, its related details, and the anonymous use of their data for academic purposes. Only patients who gave verbal consent to use their long-term follow-up data when contacted by phone were included in this section.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryAZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende AVBruggeBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineKU Leuven UniversityLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiaAZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende AVBruggeBelgium

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