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Obes Surg. 1999 Feb;9(1):11-6.

Complications following Swedish adjustable gastric banding: a long-term follow-up.

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Department of Surgery, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.



The Swedish adjustable gastric band (SAGB) has been in use since 1985. The aim of this study was to analyze short and long-term complications linked to the SAGB.


Between August 1990 and December 1996, we operated on a series of 326 patients (78 men and 248 women) at the Huddinge University Hospital and the Norra Alvsborg County Hospital. The mean age of patients at surgery was 40 years (range 19-62). The mean preoperative weight was 125 kg (range 81-181). The mean excess weight was 80%.


The mean time of follow-up was 28 months (range 6-76). Complications requiring reoperation included two (0.6%) band dislocations, six (1.8%) band leakages, and 16 (4.6%) band migrations-erosions. The most common reason for abdominal reoperation, band migration, was attributed to overfilling of the band system. In the patients in whom migration occurred, the bands had been filled with a mean volume of 12.6 ml fluid. In the remaining patients, the mean volume was 8.7 ml. The most common complication not requiring reoperation was reflux disease (4.7%). In cases with a small pouch, this complication did not seem to be a serious problem. The mean excess weight loss in the 296 patients without complications was 68%.


The overall long-term complication rate following SAGB is reasonable. With improved operating technique and closer follow-up, it should be possible to reduce the complication rate further. Reoperation because of band migration appears to be related to overfilling of the system and should therefore be avoidable in most cases.

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