Laparoscopic Adjustable Esophagogastric Banding: Preliminary Results
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Background: Laparoscopic gastric banding is effective in surgical treatment of morbid obesity, but has had the drawback of specific complications, like slippage and gastric erosion.To prevent such complications, modifications have been used, including high retrogastric positioning above the bursa omentalis, complete anterior fixation by gastro-gastric stitches over the band, and reduction of the pouch volume to ≤ 15 ml.These technical variants may induce dysphagia. Methods: We adopted a different technique, consisting of placement of the band (9.75 cm BioEnterics Lap-Band®) around the esophagus just above the cardia, to induce an amplification of the dysphagic mechanism. No fixation stitches were used. Results: From January 1999 to March 2001, 80 consecutive patients (16 males, 64 females, mean age 41 years, average BMI 45) were operated this way.All operations were completed laparoscopically. However, in 1 patient the procedure had to be interrupted for bleeding from a large fatty liver injury by the retractor.Complications included 2 cases of slippage: an early one after 24 h, requiring surgical removal, and a late one after 9 months, treated by laparoscopic repositioning.The third complication, a reactive esophageal stenosis, occurred in a transsexual male on estrogen treatment, that needed replacement with a wider Swedish band. Band adjustment was required in 28 patients, one time in 22 cases and twice in the other 6. Mean BMI decreased from 45 to 38 after 6 months, remaining at 37 after 24 months, while excess weight was reduced by 50% at 24 months. Conclusions: The technique has a re-educational function, in that patients are induced to chew thoroughly, to introduce small morsels of food and to prolong the mastication time, in order to avoid dys phagia. Laparoscopic adjustable esophagogastric banding gave no problem if well positioned, and promoted new alimentary habits through a dysphagic mechanism, inducing significant excess weight loss.
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