Initial experience with the adjustable gastric band in morbidly obese US adolescents and recommendations for further investigation

Barney E. Dillard, Veronica Gorodner, Carlos Galvani, Mark Holterman, Allen Browne, Alberto Gallo, Santiago Horgan, Ai Xuan Le Holterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The public health crisis of obesity has spread to the pediatric population. In morbidly obese (MO) adolescents, early weight loss intervention can reduce and prevent obesity-related comorbidities and mortality and improve quality of life. The present study was performed to evaluate weight loss efficacy and safety of "off-label" laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) procedures performed in MO adolescents by our adult bariatric program. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed data from 716 LAGB procedures performed on an off-label basis in adults and 24 adolescent patients ages 14 to 20 years by the adult bariatric program at our institution between 2001 and 2006. RESULTS: There was no mortality. Average operative time was 45 minutes, length of stay for adolescents was 15 hours, and weight loss outcome and overall surgical complication rates are comparable between adolescents and adults. For adolescent subjects, baseline mean preoperative body mass index was 49 kg/m and average excess weight loss rates were 22%, 34%, 52%, 42%, and 42% at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. The overall complication rate was 29%, with a 25% incidence of pouch enlargement in adolescents (vs 18% in adult patients; P ≤ ns). Two of 24 adolescent patients (8.4%) required laparoscopic band repositioning (vs 1.5% of adult patients; P ≤ 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: LAGB is an effective and safe surgical weight loss modality for MO adolescent subjects. Vigilant follow-up for LAGB-related complications and intensive postoperative behavioral management are important for improving long-term success. We recommend continued investigation of long-term efficacy and safety of LAGB in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-246
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent obesity
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Lap-Band device
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
  • Pouch enlargement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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