Background: Adolescent obesity is rapidly becoming more prevalent and is associated with chronic health conditions and psychosocial morbidity. Lifestyle intervention is often ineffective in morbidly obese adolescents, and bariatric surgery is gradually becoming an accepted treatment. However, little is known about long-term results.
Methods: Hospital charts of patients who had undergone gastric banding more than 5 years ago at an age of 18 years or younger, were retrospectively analyzed. Weight loss, complications, reoperations, and comorbidity reduction were assessed as well as health status, food behavior, and personality.
Results: BMI loss in 10 adolescents was 10.7 kg/m2 (-0.9 to 12.9 kg/m2) after a median follow-up of 64 months (52-84 months); the major part of weight loss occurred after the first year. In 4 patients the gastric band was removed after 3.5-5.5 years. Two out of 3 patients effectively lost weight after conversion to a bypass type procedure. One patient is maintaining a stable healthy weight after band removal.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in morbidly obese adolescents had a failure rate of 40%, but was a successful therapy in the other 60% without major adverse events. Follow-up longer than 36 months was crucial for optimal evaluation of weight loss and reoperation rate.