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N Z Med J. 2012 Nov 23;125(1366):20-4.

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands and the effect of living in distant towns.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand.



To investigate whether the results of laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands (LAGB) are adversely affected when patients live in towns distant from their surgeons.


A retrospective observational cohort study was conducted of patients having LAGB at Christchurch, New Zealand between March 2009 and March 2011. Patient demographics, postoperative band adjustments, and weight loss were recorded. The results were compared between those patients living in Christchurch and those that reside outside this region.


There were 142 patients (123 female) with 97 (68%) living in Christchurch. These local patients were younger on average (mean age 45.6 plus or minus 11.3 years compared to 49.9 plus or minus 8.9 years; p=0.026) and of lesser size (mean BMI 43.1 plus or minus 7.1 kg/m2 compared 55.0 plus or minus 12.3 kg/m2; p<0.001) than those living beyond this region. There was no significant difference in the number of postoperative band adjustments between the two groups (Christchurch mean of 7.8 plus or minus 4.5 adjustments compared to 6.5 plus or minus 4.2 adjustments; (p=0.156) nor in the final volume that the band was adjusted to (Christchurch mean 4.6 plus or minus 1.3 mL compared to 4.1 plus or minus 1.7 mL; p=0.069). There was no significant difference in the weight loss between the groups at 2 years (Christchurch mean 41.4 plus or minus 17.3% excess body weight lost (EBWL) compared to 42.5 plus or minus 15.2% EBWL; p=0.829).


This current study demonstrates that patients undergoing LAGB in Christchurch are not disadvantaged if they live in towns beyond this region.

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