Additional Surgeries Common After Gastric Banding: Study

People who have undergone gastric band procedures to help them address obesity-related concerns may find themselves at higher risk for needing additional operations, a recent study concluded. According to researchers, about one in five people who undergo a gastric band procedure end up requiring additional surgery within five years.

The gastric band was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001. The procedure works by placing a band around the upper part of the stomach. The placement essentially decreases the size of the stomach, which means people have less room to hold food. The band’s tightness can be adjusted, which can prove to be a big benefit in some cases, such as if a patient becomes pregnant down the road.

Although gastric bands have helped thousands successfully lose weight, complications are not entirely uncommon. Bands can, for example, slip or erode within the stomach. These issues require surgical intervention to address.

The recent study that concluded the need for additional surgeries in about one out of five patients involved data related to more than 25,000 gastric band patients. The analysis showed that about 18.5 patients ended up needing at least one additional surgery to remove, move or repair their bands.

Although still available, the gastric band has fallen out of favor with many bariatric surgeons. Procedures such as the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are more readily offered now due to their long-term success rates. Although considered permanent, both procedures have a strong track record for helping people lose weight and keep it off.

People who are considered severely obese are at especially high risk for serious health complications. Taking steps to address weight can lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, among other conditions. To find out more about bariatric surgery, consult with a licensed healthcare provider for case-specific recommendations.

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