AIM: To determine the role of the number of bands placed per session upon patient-related and procedural-related outcomes. METHODS: Patients were assigned to receive as many bands as could be possibly placed (group 1) or up to a maximum of six bands (group 2) per session. The primary outcome measured was the number of sessions to achieve obliteration. Other outcomes measured included: rebleeding, variceal recurrence, mortality (within 6 wk and within 1 yr), complications, banding and total procedure times, and number of bands misfired. RESULTS: A total of 86 patients were enrolled: 45 in group 1 and 41 in group 2. The two groups had similar age, Child-Pugh scores, grade of varices at entry. The overall proportion of patients achieving obliteration was 56% (53% and 59% for groups 1 and 2, respectively). Despite receiving significantly more mean bands per session, patients in group 1 required similar (mean ± SEM) number of sessions to obliteration (2.9 ± 0.3 vs 3.3 ± 0.3) and total number of bands (20.0 ± 2.4 vs 16.6 ± 1.8) to achieve this goal compared with group 2. The overall proportion of patients with variceal rebleeding was 25%, the 1-yr variceal recurrence 31.3%, and the overall early- and 1-yr mortality were 18.6% and 33.7%, respectively. These proportions were similar in the two groups. Banding and total procedure times were significantly longer and associated with significantly more misfired bands per session in group 1. CONCLUSION: Compared with a maximum of six bands per session, the placement of >6 bands per session was not associated with better patient outcomes but with significantly more prolonged banding and total procedure times and significantly more misfired bands.
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