The Better Weight Loss Solution:Weight Loss without surgery« click for printable PDF version

Lap-Band or Gastric Bypass Surgery?

As more and more people turn to surgery as a weight loss solution, researchers have turned their focus to compare the effectiveness of the Lap-Band and Gastric Bypass surgeries.

What they found is eye-opening.

First, the findings show that the Gastric Bypass Surgery is almost twice as effective as the surgically-placed Lap-Band.

The study reports that patients who undergo Gastric Bypass Surgery Second lost 64% of their excess weight after one year, while the Lap-Band patients lost only 36%.

Second, and even more concerning is that 12-15% of the patients experienced complications, with even worse news for the Lap-Banders, 13% of whom needed repeat surgeries.

Gastric Bypass and Lap-Band surgeries are the two most common surgical weight-loss procedures in the United States. In the bypass surgery, the stomach is stapled so that food has to bypass a section of the small intestine, with the result that the recipient feels full faster with less of the food being absorbed.

The Lap-Band procedure on the other hand, separates the stomach into two sections with a band so that eating too much becomes difficult.

These results were recently published in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery, by Dr. Guilherme Campos of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison, and formerly of the University of California, San Francisco.

Weight loss surgery has become increasingly popular as obese people struggle to lose weight and avoid health complications associated with obesity - diabetes, heart disease, joint pain and even some cancers.

However, as a weight loss solution, it?s not cheap, with a recent study from Johns Hopkins University putting the average cost of bariatric surgery at nearly $30,000.

Prior studies have suggested gastric banding was safer than gastric bypass surgery, in which doctors surgically reduce the size of the stomach to limit the amount a person can eat, but Dr Campos? study of 100 patients has shown no significant differences in surgical risks.

Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y commented that the two surgeries serve different roles for various situations: "Everyone thinks that all weight-loss operations are the same, even the doctors and the surgeons. [But] they're different, and they have different resolutions of co-morbidities and probably should be used for different indications."

Closing remarks to the study by Dr. Campo noted that the results should be interpreted with caution since longer-term data is not yet available.

What is clear to me though, is that weight loss surgery remains risky and the results far from guaranteed. To understand this better, imagine if your contractor told you that his $30,000 roofing repair job has a one-year success rate of 64% with asphalt shingles and was 34% leak-free using roof tiles.

Which would you choose? Shingles or Tiles?

We know that we would look for another solution with our $30,000....

If you are already on the WeightWorks program, then you've already discovered the "better way" to lasting weight loss.

If you are not yet on the WeightWorks program and want to learn more about how we can help, please complete our online get-acquainted questionnaire. Enter the coupon code "ARTICLE50" and we will take 50% off the cost of an initial doctor consultation to review your situation, make suggestions and answer any questions you may have.

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It's the best first step you'll ever take.

   - - Yours in health,   The Doctors of WeightWorks

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