Gastric bypass trumps banding for weight loss

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to a six-year study of some 442 Swiss patients published in the Archives of Surgery, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery appears to produce quicker and more long-lasting weight loss than gastric banding.

“On the other hand, the bypass procedure has a higher rate of early complications, although rates of early major morbidity are similar,” MedPage Today reports.

WebMD explains the differences between the two procedures. “With a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is reduced in size by 90% to 95% – from that of a football to a golf ball. The surgery also bypasses a section of the small intestine, which limits calorie absorption.” In contrast, “with a gastric banding procedure, the stomach size is restricted with an adjustable ring, or band.”

According to HealthDay, an accompanying editorial pointed out that “not all surgeons can do bypasses.”

What’s more, the editorial observed that “it is not clear what the long-term results of a bypass are, because there is evidence that although a bypass ‘cures’ diabetes, it does come back after time.”

The editorial also pointed out that “while a gastric bypass causes changes in metabolism, banding does not.”

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