Chicago Tribune/Reuters Health, March 22, 2011
An older kind of Lap-Band weight-loss surgery could lead to severe complications over the long haul, Belgian researchers said. The surgery works by placing a silicone band around the top portion of the stomach to restrict food intake. It has become an increasingly popular option in the battle against obesity, but some experts have worried about its safety. The Belgian team found that as many as half their patients, followed for at least 12 years, needed to have the band removed in that period. And in more than a quarter, the band had gnawed its way through the wall of the stomach. "The high failure rate of (Lap-Band surgery), at least in our hands, could be detrimental to its future continued widespread use as a restrictive weight loss operation," Jacques Himpens, MD, of the Saint Pierre University Hospital in Brussels and colleagues write in the Archives of Surgery.