Band Leakage after Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Authors: Mittermair, Reinhard; Weiss, Helmut; Nehoda, Hermann; Peer, Regina; Donnemiller, Eveline; Moncayo, Roy; Aigner, Franz

Source: Obesity Surgery, Volume 13, Number 6, December 2003 , pp. 913-917(5)

Publisher: Springer

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Background: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is effective in inducing weight loss, as well as being minimally invasive, totally reversible, and adjustable to the patient's needs. Nevertheless, leakage of the adjustable balloon is a known complication. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence and reasons for balloon leakage of the Swedish adjustable gastric band (SAGB). Patients and Methods: Between January 1996 and December 2002, 566 patients (475 women, 91 men) underwent a laparoscopic SAGB implantation. Two groups of patients were analyzed: patients with early postoperative leakage (Group E) and patients with late postoperative leakage (Group L). All data (age, gender, pre- and postoperative weight, time of weight gain, band filling status) were prospectively collected in a computerized data bank. For the detection of gastric band leakage, radiography and the technetium-99m colloid scintigraphy was used. Results: 25 band leakages were observed in 22 patients (4.4%). All these patients had a silent presentation of band leakage, with weight regain and an ability to eat without major restriction. Band leakages in group E were detected during the band filling period after a median follow-up of 8 months and after 30.3 months (P <0.0001) in group L. In group E, all 13 leakages possibly resulted from inappropriate handling of the device during surgery. In 2 cases in group L, a tear of the balloon had occurred where it is fixed to the band. The other 10 bands showed breaks at the edges of the inner side of the balloon. All leakages could be detected by 99mTc colloid scintigraphy, whereas only 58% of the leakages could be detected by radiography. Conclusion: Band leakage is a rare complication and should be considered if a patient starts to regain weight. Operative failure as well as material defects may account for this complication. The balloon leakage can effectively be detected by 99mTc colloid-scintigraphy.
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