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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2014 Nov-Dec;10(6):1092-6. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2013.10.014. Epub 2013 Oct 25.

What happens after gastric band removal without additional bariatric surgery?

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Department of Surgery Rijnstate Hospital, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
Department of Surgery Rijnstate Hospital, The Netherlands.



The laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) is widely used for the treatment of morbid obesity. Many patients benefit from this procedure initially, but experience complications after a few years. The treatment for many complications is revisional bariatric surgery. A number of patients, however, request only band removal without secondary bariatric surgery. The aim of this study was to assess the perioperative and medium term outcomes of patients who had their LAGB removed without secondary bariatric surgery.


Patients were retrospectively selected using a prospectively collected database. The LAGB had to be in situ for at least 1 year, and minimum postoperative follow-up had to be 12 months.


Thirty-eight patients who had their LAGB laparoscopically removed between 2000 and 2010 were included. Median follow-up after LAGB removal was 3.0 (1.4 to 8.9) years. Only 2 complications (5%) and no mortality occurred perioperatively. In the 21 patients who did not undergo additional bariatric surgery, the median excess weight loss (EWL) decreased from 41% (-12% to -100%) at band removal to 9% (-10% to 90%), 0% (-20% to 78%), and -11% (-12% to 56%) after 1, 2, and 5 years, respectively. Percentage weight loss (%WL) was 17% (-54% to -5%), 4% (-47% to -9%), 0% (-41% to 11%), and -5% (-29% to 9%) after these same time intervals, respectively. After a median 2.1 (.5 to 9.9) years, 17 patients underwent either a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (14 patients) or a Scopinaro (3 patients) all because of weight regain. The current EWL and %WL in these patients is 67% (24% to 113%) and 30% (12% to 53%), respectively compared with -11% (-33% to 57%) and -4% (-14% to 34%) in patients without a secondary bariatric procedure (P< .001).


Patients who have their LAGB removed are guaranteed to suffer from weight regain. It is inadvisable to only remove the LAGB without performing an additional bariatric procedure when deemed technically feasible and safe. In this study, no patient was able to maintain the weight loss achieved with the LAGB after its removal.


Complications; Gastric band; LAGB; Removal; Revisional surgery; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

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