The results of a new study are encouraging for those who have had, or are considering, weight loss surgery. An analysis of more than 160,000 surgery patients shows that at 5-year follow-up, three commonly performed bariatric procedures lead to substantial and durable weight loss with a low risk of death.

As observed in previous studies, gastric bypass resulted in the greatest weight loss overall, and the 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. The patients maintained an average of 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%. The analysis also included data on the improvement of obesity-related health problems. It found that after surgery, remission of diabetes occurred in 86 – 92% of patients (depending in the type of study). 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 “weight loss surgery appears to be a very effective treatment for severe obesity, and it is a safe treatment in terms of risk of death as well as complication rate”. Each of the 3 procedures offered substantial benefits to the patients, including both weight loss and improvement of obesity-related health conditions. This analysis includes only studies reported since 2003, while previous publications involved older studies which do not reflect advances in techniques and increased surgeon experience.  The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). You can visit our information pages to learn more about the Lap-Band, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve, or give us a call at 503-227-5050. We are always happy to answer your questions!

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