To the best of our knowledge, this is the first series of patients that underwent a laparoscopic adjustable gastric banded Roux-en-Y gastric bypass as a primary operation for the super-super obese in the indexed literature.
Prosthetic devices have been used in bariatric operations to control the outlet of the gastric pouch and thus induce restriction to help maintain weight loss. Initial devices commonly employed in vertical banded gastroplasties (VBG) included a fixed diameter silastic ring or even mesh prostheses. In 1991 the group of Capella was the first to describe the vertical banded gastroplasty-gastric bypass with a 5.5 cm supporting band around a small gastric pouch . In that same year, Fobi et al published their results with the silastic ring vertical banded gastric bypass . Although producing effective restriction, the non adjustability of these devices has led to problems that have been reported in several series. Salinas et al have reported the results on a series of 1588 patients following various modifications of the silastic ring vertical bypass. They report stricture rates up to 3.8% in one of their subgroups, and the necessity of ring removal in 5.7% of the total population . In a study comparing two silastic ring sizes, Cramtpon and colleagues report eating problems in 28% of patients requiring removal in 14% of patients with a 5.5 cm diameter ring, and in 4% of patients with a 6 cm ring [26, 27]. The latter finding provides support for the superiority of a variable diameter system allowing adjustment for patient tolerance . Interestingly, Kyzer et al report good results following the use of AGB in a subgroup of 22 patients that previously had silastic ring gastroplasties . There are similar small series following the conversion of a non adjustable band to an adjustable system . The adjustability of the device should, at least theoretically, counteract the possible complications associated with the non-adjustable ring. In a long-term follow-up study comparing VBG to AGB, Miller et al demonstrated a statistically significant lower re-intervention and re-operation rate and an improved health status and quality of life for the AGB group .
There are reports of using an AGB with RYGB where the bands were placed below the gastro-jejunostomy to form the gastric pouch [31, 32]. However, these operations had a high incidence of band erosions into the stomach and the small bowel. In an expert meeting on the adjustable banded gastric bypass at the 3rd annual meeting of the Italian Collaborative Study Group for the Lap-Band (2003), it was concluded that the combination of gastric bypass with an AGB to form the pouch is not recommended . Steffen et al has also reported use of an adjustable gastric band with a distal gastric bypass and the stomach in their technique was divided horizontally and very low leaving a huge gastric pouch . Our technique however is completely different to these variations as described above.
With the combined procedure, a sequential action mechanism for EWL is to be expected. The EWL with RYGB will be effective at the beginning reaching a plateau after 12 - 18 months. The filling of the band at this time will result in further adjustable gastric pouch restriction thereby causing further weight loss. Also, the adjustable band will limit the volume of food intake, especially when restriction fades with time and weight regain would occur. The procedure thus combines the potential benefits of RYGBP and an AGB.
We already described our technique of the laparoscopic adjustable banded sleeve gastrectomy in one patient without any device-related perioperative complications . Especially in the RYGB procedure, one may be concerned about possible band or port infection since, in contrast to the sleeve gastrectomy, both the gastric pouch and the small bowel are opened during the operation. Apart from the cefazoline given at induction, we did not take any special measures to avoid band contamination. One should of course try to limit excessive spillage of gastric or small bowel content during the operation by carefully opening the pouch or the bowel assisted by appropriate suction.
The AGB, however, has been associated with late complications, including slippage and erosion of the band. Since the band is placed through a small opening between the blood vessels immediately adjacent to the stomach and the lesser curve and fixed laterally with the gastric remnant both above and below the band, the chance of slippage is expected to be low. Whether or not late complications will occur remains to be seen.