Exsanguinating Hemorrhage following Gastric Erosion after Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) has become a common bariatric operation, because of its safety, laparoscopic friendliness, acceptable weight loss and absence of long-term adverse nutritional sequelae. Gastric erosion is one of the troublesome complications of gastric banding. The etiology and presentation of erosion remain obscure. We present a patient who complained of persistent pain 6 months after gastric banding. Endoscopy revealed the band to be normally situated, which was also confirmed on upper GI imaging. Despite this, the patient subsequently presented with massive GI hemorrhage and circulatory collapse due to erosion, which necessitated emergency laparotomy with retrieval of the band from within the gastric lumen. This case highlights the possible urgent presentation of erosion after gastric banding, which was hitherto considered to be a more insidious complication. A high index of clinical suspicion remains the mainstay of diagnosis.