This page shows a listing of key scientific papers underpinning the AGB approach to weight loss surgery.

A very detailed official statement by SAGES (the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons) on Guidelines for Clinical Application of Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery can be found here.

 

Below is a landmark paper from 2007 demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the LAGB approach:

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Favretti F, Segato G, Ashton D, et al. Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding in 1,791 Consecutive Obese Patients: 12-Year Results. Obesity Surgery 2007, 17: 168-75.

Background: This study examines 1,791 consecutive laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) procedures with up to 12 years follow-up. Long-term results of LAGB with a high follow-up rate are not common.

Methods: Between September 1993 and December 2005, 1,791 consecutive patients (75.1% women, mean age 38.7 years, mean weight 127.7 ± 24 kg, mean BMI 46.2 ± 7.7) underwent LAGB by the same surgical team. Perigastric dissection was used in 77.8% of the patients, while subsequently pars flaccida was used in 21.5% and a mixed approach in 0.8%. Data were analyzed according to co-morbidities, conversion, shortand long-term complications and weight loss. Fluoroscopy-guided band adjustments were performed and patients received intensive follow-up. The effects of LAGB on life expectancy were measured in a case/control study involving 821 surgically-treated patients versus 821 treated by medical therapy.

Results: Most common baseline co-morbidities (%) were hypertension (35.6), osteoarthritis (57.8), diabetes (22), dyslipidemia (27.1), sleep apnea syndrome (31.4), depression (21.2), sweet eating (22.5) and binge eating (18.5). Conversion to open was 1.7%: due to technical difficulties (1.2) and due to intraoperative complications (0.5).Together with the re-positioning of the band, additional surgery was performed in 11.9% of the patients: hiatal hernia repair (2.4), cholecystectomy (7.8) and other procedures (1.7). There was no mortality. Reoperation was required in 106 patients (5.9%): band removal 55 (3.7%), band repositioning 50 (2.7%), and other 1 (0.05%). Port-related complications occurred in 200 patients (11.2%). 41 patients (2.3%) underwent further surgery due to unsatisfactory results: removal of the band in 12 (0.7%), biliopancreatic diversion in 5 (0.27%) and a biliopancreatic diversion with gastric preservation in 24 (1.3%). Weight in kg was 103.7 ± 21.6, 102.5 ± 22.5, 105.0 ± 23.6, 106.8 ± 24.3, 103.3 ± 26.2 and 101.4 ± 27.1 at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 years after LAGB. BMI at the same intervals was 37.7 ± 7.1, 37.2 ± 7.2, 38.1 ± 7.6, 38.5 ± 7.9, 37.5 ± 8.5 and 37.7 ± 9.1. The case/control study found a statistically significant difference in survival in favor of the surgically-treated group.

Conclusions: LAGB can achieve effective, safe and stable long-term weight loss. In experienced hands, the complication rate is low. Follow-up is paramount.

Here is a graph from this paper's data, showing on average 40 percent excess weight loss (%EWL) in the first year after AGB surgery, and successful maintenance of this loss over a decade:

 

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Below is the short version of a paper demonstrating a survival advantage to having undergone laparoscopic AGB surgery over "no surgery":

 

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Busetti M, Mirabelli D, Petroni ML, et al. Comparative long-term mortality after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding versus nonsurgical controls. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 2007, 3 (5):  496-502.

Background: To compare the mortality rate of obese patients treated by laparoscopic gastric banding (LAGB) with the mortality rate of matched obese patients observed at medical centers. The net effect of bariatric surgery on total mortality is still controversial. Gastric bypass has been shown to reduce the relative risk of death, but similar data with LABG are still lacking.

Methods: The surgical series was composed of 821 patients with a body mass index (BMI) >40 kg/m2 consecutively treated with LAGB at Padova University, Italy. The reference group was composed of 821 gender-, age-, and BMI-matched patients selected from a sample of 4681 adults with a BMI >40 kg/m2 observed at 6 Italian medical centers not using surgical therapy.

Results: The mean follow-up was 5.6 ± 1.9 and 7.2 ± 1.2 years in the surgical and reference group, respectively. The vital status was known in 97.6% of the surgical group (8 deaths) and in 97.4% of the reference group (36 deaths). In the surgical group, the percentage of excess weight loss was 39.8% ± 17.9% 1 year after LAGB and 37.2% ± 23.8% 5 years after LAGB. The rate of late revisional surgery was 12.2%. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the differences between the 2 groups were evaluated using the log-rank test. The survival rate was significantly greater in the surgical group (P = 0.0004). On multivariate Cox analysis, the 5-year relative risk of death in the surgical group, adjusted for gender, age, and baseline BMI, was 0.36 (95% confidence interval 0.16-0.80).

Conclusion: LAGB was associated with a 0% operative mortality rate and 40% stable excess weight loss. LAGB patients had a 5-year 60% lower risk of death than comparable morbidly obese patients.