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Study: 60% re-operation rate with Gastric Bands

Gastric bands have been in use in Europe since the early 1990s. That begs the question "Where's the data on the long term safety and effectiveness of these devices?" Well, a study called Long-term Outcomes of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding has been published in the Archives of Surgery, (Himpens et al., Arch Surg.2011; 0: 2011451-6.) based on that long term European data.

This is being reported on in The Los Angeles Times: Study Questions Lap-Band's Long-Term Effectiveness and on Bloomburg.com, a financial website: Obesity Lap Bands Cause More Complications Than Weight Loss, Study Finds.

Guess what? Lap bands are neither safe nor effective for most people. From the Bloomberg article:

About 60 percent of the 82 patients with the device, Allergan Inc.’s Lap-Band, followed over 12 years or more needed additional operations, according to a study by Belgian researchers published online today by the Archives of Surgery. The minimally invasive surgery led to weight loss of 18 percent in 70 patients where data was available...

Twenty-three patients, or 1 in 3 who responded to the survey, experienced band erosion, diagnosed after a median of four years, the study found. Almost 50 percent of the patients lost their bands within nine years.

A 60% re-operation rate. 18% or less weight loss - not even enough to make an average height person with a BMI of 35 overweight rather than obese. This isn't news to a lot of people in the Fatosphere, including Bri of Fat Lot of Good. However, it's always good to be able to cite studies.

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As I've written in another comment, in a period of weakness I had the surgery. Its done nothing but making eating difficult. I am still fat (and proud). But this worries me as I have been told that the surgery to remove it is far more complicated than the one to put it in. One of my biggest regrets. Let my tale be a cautionary one.

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