A new study from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons have discovered that the primary factor in choosing a surgical procedure are how much weight a patient wants to lose, whether they have diabetes and lastly, their overall tolerance for surgical risk to achieve their goal weight.* Their researchers have decided that body mass index and the level of obesity did not play any real role in someone’s decision-making process.

According to the principal investigator Christine C. Wee, MD, MPH, BMI is not an important determinant in suggesting a weight loss procedure for patients as the surgeon should consider all of the patient’s health. The study found that those who experienced uncontrolled eating chose the proven less effective, laparoscopic banding then gastric bypass surgery. Most likely this occurs because the procedure was reversible, researchers said.Woman at table, obesity

During laparoscopic gastric banding procedure, the stomach is made smaller by wrapping a band around part of the stomach. A surgeon adjusts to band for more or less food take or removes the band completely. Small incisions are used during a laparoscopic procedure. During Gastric bypass, part of the stomach is removed, and the digestive tract is rerouted, which limits the body from absorbing calories. Gastric bypass has been proven to have larger and more long-lasting weight loss over an extended period, more so than other weight loss procedures.

When this study was conducted (between June 2008 and October 2011), gastric banding was the second most common weight loss procedure in the United States. In today’s world, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) is more popular and is proving to have better results.

About the Study

The study looked at 536 adults who had gastric banding (239) and gastric bypass (297). Researchers completed a one-hour telephone interview within 18 months before their operations. They were asked to answer interview questions about their ideal weight, factors that made them choose the procedure they did and how willing they were to accept the risks that may occur to lose weight.

These patients also talked about their quality of life, how often they emotionally eat and how often they experience uncontrollable eating. Information about the patient’s demographics, diseases related to obesity and BMI were taken from the patient’s medical records.

The study’s researchers found that those who chose gastric bypass were more likely to have a poorer quality of life, a lower goal weight, a greater tolerance for accepting risk in regards to treatment and are more likely to have Type II Diabetes.Overweight woman, obesity

The study also found that those who experienced uncontrolled eating were more likely to have gastric banding procedure. While those who had gastric banding had a lower average body mass index which means they were less obese than patients who opted for gastric bypass surgery. The authors of the study report that a patient’s preferences or their behaviors may be more influential than BMI in their decision-making process.

Ultimately, it is important that patients take a time to talk to surgeons about their weight loss goals, any concerns, their quality of life and their challenges when losing weight. All of this information will better help a doctor guide the patient to choosing a weight loss procedure that works best for them.


* https://www.journalacs.org/inpress