Bariatric Surgery Results
Gastric bypass and banding procedures may result in significant complications and lifestyle restrictions. However, they are far more effective than conventional non-surgical treatment approaches such as diet, exercise, and drugs when it comes to helping obese people lose and control their weight.
A 2007 study in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine compared gastric bypass and banding patients with matched controls. The study involved 4,047 obese people, of whom 2,010 underwent bariatric surgery and 2,037 received conventional treatment. The average patient BMI was approximately 42. At ten years, patients on conventional therapy showed a very small weight gain. Those receiving banding showed an average weight loss of 15% of total body weight. Those receiving gastric bypass showed an average weight loss of 25% of total body weight.4
Another study of almost 20,000 patients in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a 40% lower mortality rate for bariatric surgery patients than for those receiving conventional treatment.5 The results of this study are supported by numerous other studies in which both gastric banding and gastric bypass resulted in substantial weight loss and health benefits. Even so, barely 1% of patients eligible for gastric bypass or banding choose to have the procedures done due to their concerns about safety, side effects and lifestyle restrictions.
4 Sjostrom L, et al. Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Mortality in Swedish Obese Subjects. NEJM. 2007;357(8):741-52.
5 Adams TD, et al. Long-term Mortality after Gastric Bypass Surgery. NEJM. 2007;357(8):753-61.