Background: Laparoscopic vertical banded gastroplasty (LVBG) is a safe and effective treatment for morbid obesity. Previous studies disclosed a significant improvement in the health-related quality of life after substantial weight loss following VBG. Data regarding the specific gastrointestinal quality of life following LVBG is lacking. Materials and Methods: 223 patients who underwent LVBG for morbid obesity were studied prospectively. Quality of life was measured by the Gastrointestinal Quality of life Index (GIQLI), a 36-item questionnaire before surgery, and at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after surgery. The questionnaire is divided into 5 domains, and the maximum score is 144. Results: After LVBG, weight loss has been good. Mean BMI decreased from 43.2 to 31.3 after 2 years. Co-morbidities were eliminated in 71%. 84.3% of patients were satisfied with the results. However, the score of GIQLI remained similar before and after surgery. Preoperative score was 106.2±19 points. The score became 116.6±9, 106.8±21, and 108.5±20 at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after surgery respectively. The patients had improvement in 3 domains of the questionnaire (social function, physical status and psychological emotions) but decreased in domains of core symptoms and disease-specific items. Conclusion: Although LVBG was effective in reduction of weight and resolution of co-morbidities in morbidly obese patients, the specific gastrointestinal quality of life did not improve. Many patients developed some specific gastrointestinal symptoms in order to obtain weight reduction.
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