Lasting Weight Loss with 3 Bariatric Surgery Procedures

Good news for those who have had, or are considering, bariatric surgery. A new meta-analysis shows that at 5-year follow-up, three commonly performed weight loss surgery procedures provided substantial and lasting weight loss with a low mortality risk. The results were published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Consistent with previous studies, gastric bypass resulted in the greatest weight loss overall, and adjustable gastric banding (Lap-band) was associated with the lowest complication rate. The newer procedure, the gastric sleeve, seemed to offer the best combination of weight loss and safety.

More than 160,000 patients were included in the analysis, and at 5 years they maintained a 26-37% loss from baseline body mass index (BMI). The 30-day mortality rate was 0.08% and mortality beyond 30 days was 0.31%. This analysis is an important update because it involves only studies reported since 2003, while previous publications involved older studies when surgical techniques were different.

The meta-analysis also included data on the remission of obesity-related health problems. It found that after surgery, remission of diabetes occurred in 86 – 92% of patients. The remission rates of high blood pressures were about 75%. High cholesterol remission rates were 68 – 76% and sleep apnea resolved in 90 – 96% of patients with the condition.

The study authors concluded that bariatric surgery, overall, appears to be a very effective treatment for severe obesity, and it is a safe treatment in terms of mortality rate and complication rate. Each of the 3 procedures offered substantial benefits to the patients, including both weight loss and improvement of obesity-related health conditions.

“Updated systematic review proves again that bariatric surgery is the most effective therapy for severely obese patients that allow them to not only lose a significant amount of weight, but also improve their comorbidities, quality of life and lifespan,” said Dr. Jaime Ponce, expert weight loss surgeon in Tennessee.  “It also demonstrates that it is a very safe treatment, as safe as gallbladder surgery and safer than many other common surgical procedures.”

Visit our information pages to learn more about the lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass.

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