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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2010 Nov-Dec;6(6):597-600. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2010.09.008. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Travel distance as factor in follow-up visit compliance in postlaparoscopic adjustable gastric banding population.

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Department of Surgery, Fletcher Allen Healthcare, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont 05401, USA.



Despite the 2008 "American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for the Perioperative Nutritional, Metabolic, and Nonsurgical Support of the Bariatric Surgery Patient," consensus does not exist for postoperative care in laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) patients (grade D evidence). It has been suggested that regular follow-up is related to better outcomes, specifically greater weight loss. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of travel distance to the clinic on the adherence to follow-up visits and weight loss in a cohort of LAGB patients in the setting of a rural, university-affiliated teaching hospital in the United States.


A retrospective chart review was performed of all consecutive LAGB patients for a 1-year period. Linear regression analysis was used to identify the relationships between appointment compliance and the distance traveled and between the amount of weight loss and the distance traveled.


Linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the effect of the travel distance to the clinic on the percentage of follow-up visits postoperatively. This effect was not significant (P = .4). Linear regression analysis was also performed to elucidate the effect of the travel distance to the clinic on the amount of weight loss. This effect was significant (P = .04).


The travel distance to the clinic did not seem to be a significant predictor of compliance in a cohort of LAGB patients with ≤ 1 year of follow-up in a rural setting. However, a weak relationship was found between the travel distance to the clinic and weight loss, with patients who traveled further seeming to lose slightly more weight.

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