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Ganesh R, Leese T, Rao AD, Baladas HG
Correspondence: Dr Trevor Leese, email@example.com
Introduction Severe obesity is an increasing problem in Singapore. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) was introduced at our hospital in 2001 as part of a comprehensive weight management programme. To assess the effectiveness of this procedure, our results to date have been reviewed.
Methods A prospective database was kept of all patients undergoing LAGB and this was used to retrieve the information.
Results 256 consecutive patients underwent LAGB from January 2001 up to December 2005. There were 163 females and 93 males, with a median age of 36 years (range 18-63 years). Median preoperative weight was 112.7 kg (range 71.5-204 kg) and median body mass index (BMI) was 41.9 (range 32-73). Three patients were converted from laparoscopic to open laparotomy (1.2 percent). 91 percent of patients were discharged home on the first postoperative day. There were seven hospital morbidities (2.7 percent) with one mortality (0.4 percent). During follow-up, 20 patients (7.8 percent) developed late complications requiring revision surgery. Ten were band complications, requiring revision or removal of the band. The other ten were minor access port or tubing complications. Median weight loss at one year was 27.6 kg (range 5.6-71.2 kg) and median excess weight loss, using a BMI of 23 as a baseline, was 51.7 percent (range 9-117.5 percent). Easily measurable comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension improved or resolved in 85.4 percent of patients.
Conclusion There is a clear demand for LAGB in Singapore. This has increased since the BMI thresholds for severe obesity were reduced in Asian patients. The surgery provides effective, lasting weight loss with improvement or resolution of comorbidity for most patients. LAGB has the advantages of allowing controlled weight loss and life-long treatment while being easily reversible. When compared to other bariatric surgical procedures, low hospital morbidity has to be offset against the closer follow-up required and the need for secondary surgical procedures in some patients.
Keywords: bariatric surgery, gastric band, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, laparoscopy, obesity
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(8): 661-669