Research we're watching
Is one type of bariatric surgery better than another? A study published online Dec. 9, 2020, by JAMA Surgery aimed to find out. It compared two of the most common weight-loss surgeries — laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure and a less aggressive procedure known as a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy — to determine which had better results when it came to weight loss and improvement in quality of life.
Study authors conducted a randomized trial involving 240 people ages 18 to 60 with morbid obesity. One group underwent a gastric bypass procedure, which surgically shrinks the stomach to a small pouch that connects to the small intestine; the other group underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, which removes about 80% of the stomach, leaving behind a narrow, tube-shaped portion. The gastric bypass group got slightly better weight-loss results than the sleeve procedure, but both groups saw the same improvements in quality of life after the procedure. In the seven years following the procedure, people who got the sleeve procedure lost 47% of their excess weight, but the gastric bypass group lost a little more, on average 55% of their excess weight. Researchers described the difference as "statistically significant," but not "clinically relevant." The findings might be worth discussing with your doctor.
Image: Fred Froese/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.