Leading Surgeons in Attendance at Gastric Band Summit

Many of the nation’s top bariatric surgeons are attending the Gastric Band Summit today and tomorrow in Miami. Today’s session was opened by Dr. Jaime Ponce who gave an update of recent randomized studies of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding. He then moderated a panel of international surgeons who addressed trends around the world in gastric banding. Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, leader of the NYU Langone Weight Management Program, represented the US on this panel.

gastric band summit 2011

This afternoon, a 2 hour panel discussion on differences in techniques took place, featuring Dr. Emma Patterson and Dr. Rob Cywes who came to an agreement that both the data and their personal experiences indicate a preference for anterior crural repair. Dr George Fielding, internationally recognized expert on bariatric surgery, spoke in this session as well. “Hiatal hernia used to be a contraindication to the band. On the contrary…” he began, which reflected consensus of our experts today is that it is very important to concurrently repair hiatal hernias or crural defects (in the diaphragm) with gastric banding.

Speaking to us after the session, Dr. Ren-Fielding explained further: “Controversy continues whether someone who suffers from reflux or from a hiatal hernia, should have a gastric band placed. After review of our 10 years experience with the gastric band and thorough discussion with the national band thought leaders, it is conclusive that all hiatal hernias should be repaired if present at the time of band surgery. If the hernia is not repaired at the time of band surgery, the patient will develop severe reflux and possibly band removal several years after surgery. Just look at the recent Himpens paper”.

Also presented-on today was the recent FDA approval of LAP-BANDs for patients with a BMI of as low as 30. The last session of the day addressed New Adjustment Concepts, with Dr. Bob Snow discussing the effects of band adjustments on intraluminal pressure, and intraoperative band adjustment with an endoluminal assistive device. Day 2 of the summit will be covered here tomorrow.

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