Public Release:  X-rays help physicians diagnose and treat gastric band slippage

American College of Radiology

Standard radiography (X-rays) can help physicians diagnose laparoscopic adjustable gastric band slippage, a known complication of adjustable gastric banding surgery, according to a study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (www.ajronline.org). Adjustable gastric banding surgery is a widely used bariatric surgical procedure to induce weight loss in morbidly obese individuals.

As adjustable gastric banding surgery becomes common, more patients are presenting to the emergency department with complications of the procedure, particularly those resulting from slippage of the gastric band. "Because the consequences of slippage may require acute surgical intervention, it is imperative that the radiologist is familiar with the surgical technique to correctly position the band and the appearances of a gastric band when correctly and incorrectly positioned," said Sabrina Pieroni, MD, lead author of the study.

Researchers from Boston Medical Center in Boston, MA, reviewed the radiologic findings in 55 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic gastric banding. Gastric band slippage was diagnosed and surgically confirmed in four patients. "In all four patients with surgically proven gastric band slippage, the initial abdominal X-ray showed an O-shaped configuration of the gastric band, which we have termed the "O" sign," said Pieroni. In each case, the O-shaped configuration of the band was a change from its rectangular appearance when in the proper position.

"As adjustable banding is increasingly used, more patients will present to the emergency department with complications of the procedure, particularly complications from band slippage," said Pieroni.

"Identification of the O sign on radiography can potentially aid the radiologist, surgeon, or emergency department physician in the early detection of gastric band slippage and appropriate patient triage," she said.

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This study appears in the July issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study or to request an interview with Dr. Pieroni, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@acr-arrs.org or at 703-390-9822.

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.

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