Retained Gastric Band Tubing Resulting in Large Bowel Obstruction

Christopher Starnes, MD, Sheilendra S. Mehta, MD, Shinil K. Shah, DO, Kulvinder S. Bajwa, MD, Erik B. Wilson, MD, Peter A. Walker, MD

Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA (Drs. Starnes, Mehta, Shah, Bajwa, Wilson, Walker). Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Science and Biomedical Devices, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA (Dr. Shah).


Introduction: Complications due to retained gastric band tubing are rarely reported and frequently include disconnections of the tubing requiring operative revision. Obstruction from adjustable gastric band tubing is an infrequently reported event.

Case Description: The patient presented to us 1 month after removal of a presumed isolated infected port performed at an outside facility. The wound was left open, but the intra-abdominal tubing and band were left in place. Abdominal distention, pain, and peritonitis developed, and the patient was taken to the operating room because of concern regarding an acute intra-abdominal process. Intraoperatively, he was noted to have a sigmoid obstruction from the retained gastric band tubing.

Discussion: Although obstruction from adjustable gastric band tubing is infrequently reported in the literature, it poses a potentially devastating complication. We review the relevant literature and potential issues when dealing with band-related tubing.

Key Words: Internal hernia, Adjustable gastric band, Bowel obstruction, Port infection.

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