According to a new review by UT Southwestern Medical Center, gastric bypass surgery has much better outcomes than gastric banding for a long-term weight loss experience. It also controls Type II Diabetes better as well as high blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels in patients. This is a result of nearly 30 long-term studies done to compare the two types of bariatric surgeries and the patients who endured each of them.
Nearly 120,000 bariatric procedures are performed each year in the United States with gastric bypass accounting for nearly 47% of those procedures and gastric banding just 18%. The review was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) and found that those that had gastric bypass operations lose more weight, an average of 66% of their excess weight, compared to just 45% of those who had gastric banding surgery.
During gastric bypass (also known as Roux-en-y), a smaller stomach pouch is created in order to reroute food to bypass a portion of the small intestine. During gastric band surgery, an inflatable band is installed around a portion of the patient’s stomach that can be adjusted in order to limit food intake. Both procedures help patients feel fuller quicker and help them to eat less and consume fewer calories resulting in weight loss.
Dr. Nancy Puzziferri, an assistant professor of surgery and a member of the bariatric surgery team at UT Southwestern says that gastric bypass does bring more weight loss success and helps to relieve more commonly associated illness as compared to gastric band surgery one year following surgery. The team now has great evidence to prove this notion. They do however agree that gastric banding does produce impressive weight loss, it just doesn’t compare to that of gastric bypass surgery.
The researchers found the most dramatic difference between the two surgeries in regards to diabetes control. Nearly two-thirds of gastric bypass patients with Type II Diabetes saw remission of their disease while less than one-third of gastric band patients experienced the same result. Gastric bypass also lowered high blood pressure more so than gastric banding. Nearly half of patients (48%) reported remission two years following surgery while just one-fifth or 17% of gastric banding patients experienced the same result. Gastric bypass also helped to improve high levels of cholesterol, lipoproteins and triglycerides in the body with 60% of its patient experiencing remission compared to 23% of gastric banding patients. Long term complication rates for the two weight loss surgeries also favored the gastric bypass surgery with less than 3% for bypass and less than 5% for banding.
The studies only looked at patients for at least two years following their respective surgery. Nearly 80% of all patients were successfully tracked that long. Most weight loss studies or 97% of them only track patients for up to a year. The researchers suggest that more studies should be done in order to look at the long-term outcomes (at least two years post-surgery) and an 80% follow-up in order to be reliable sources of information. They also believe there are a limited number of studies that meet these criteria.