Gastric Bypass May Beat Gastric Bands
Severely Obese Patients Have More Weight Loss With Gastric Bypass Surgery
WebMD News Archive
July 17, 2006 -- Gastric bypass may work better, with fewer complications,
than gastric banding for severely obese patients, doctors report in the
Archives of Surgery.
That finding comes from Wilbur Bowne, MD, and colleagues. Bowne works in the
surgery department at The State University of New York's Health Science Center
of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Bowne's team studied 106 people who either got gastric bypass or gastric
banding surgery. Both procedures are designed to make people eat less by
limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold.
All the patients were extremely obese. Their BMI (body mass index, which
relates height to weight) was greater than 50. That's 20 points higher than the
BMI cutoff for obesity.
About the Operations
Both operations were done through small abdominal incisions, a technique
During the gastric bypass operation, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach
pouch that holds less food than a normal stomach. The food passes from the
pouch, bypassing part of the small intestine, to the rest of the digestive
During the gastric banding procedure, the surgeon places an adjustable band
around the stomach, creating two small compartments.
Before and After Surgery
Here are details on the patients before surgery:
- Average age: about 42 years
- Average BMI: about 56
- Average weight before their procedure: 330-346 pounds
- Average amount of excess weight: nearly 200 pounds
The patients, most of whom were women, had their choice of gastric bypass or
gastric banding. They got presurgery checkups and counseling about each
Sixty patients chose gastric banding; the other 46 chose gastric bypass. One
surgeon performed all the operations.
The researchers tracked the patients for an average of 16 months.
The gastric bypass group showed several advantages:
- Greater weight loss: BMI dropped by 26 with gastric
bypass, 10 with gastric banding.
- Bigger drop in cases of type 2 diabetesand
apnea-- two obesity-linked
- Fewer postsurgery complications.
- Greater patient satisfaction.
The study only included people who were extremely obese, so it's not clear
if the results would apply to people who want to lose less weight.
And the results don't mean gastric banding is ineffective. In fact, the
researchers write that both operations yielded "satisfactory" weight
The study also doesn't mean gastric bypass is risk-free. Both procedures
have serious risks. The study was too short to track longevity effects, the