Complications May be Arising as Gastric Banding Procedures Increase

Complications May be Arising as Gastric Banding Procedures IncreaseAs the number of gastric banding procedures as a weight-loss aid increase, physicians will need to keep their eye out for potential complications that may occur years later, a new case report suggests.

The study, conducted by researchers at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands, U.K., discussed the issues that developed two years after one woman underwent the procedure, in which she had to be treated for a cough that produced green and yellow sputum for four months, as well as recurring night sweats.

According to the National Library of Medicine, Laparoscopic gastric banding involves implanting a band around the upper part of the stomach to create a smaller space to hold food, helping someone to feel full and aiding in weight loss.

Several risks have already been identified with the procedure, including erosion of the band through the stomach, gastritis, infection and injury to the stomach, intestines or other organs during the surgery.

In the woman's case, physicians initially suspected tuberculosis, but further examination led them to believe the condition was caused by the lap band. The issues were suspected to be caused by repeated aspiration of ingested food and cavitation of the lungs, which were determined to be as a result of the gastric band fitting, Healthday reported.

The researchers noted that lung problems related to gastric bands are rare, however, if treatment for the condition is delayed, lung complications "can present with asthma-like symptoms and can be misdiagnosed if not properly investigated," said Dr. Adam Czapran, of the department of respiratory medicine and coronary care at Russells Hall Hospital.

"Given the increasing frequency of people undergoing interventional procedures to aid weight loss, recognition of the short-term and long-term complications is paramount," Czapran's research team stated in an accompanying news release, reported HealthDay.