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Two studies: Sleeve gastrectomy out performs RYGB long-term

Sleeve gastrectomy got a boost recently with the publication of two separate studies that concluded the procedure performs better long-term than other forms of weight loss surgery.
A study out of two universities in Australia published online in the journal Obesity Surgery1 concluded that food tolerance and gastrointestinal quality of life at 2 to 4 years post-surgery are ostensibly best after sleeve gastrectomy compared with adjustable gastric banding (AGB) and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB).

The second study, out of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and published online in the journal Surgical Endoscopy, 2 found laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can be considered a definitive operation for morbid obesity, especially inner city patients, based on its low incidence of postoperative complications.

Australian Study

This prospective cross-sectional study evaluated 129 participants who completed a food tolerance questionnaire and 119 who completed a Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI). After analysis, the control and sleeve gastrectomy groups showed the highest median scores for food tolerance. For GIQLI, the gastrectomy group had the highest median score (120.5), followed by the gastric banding (94.0) and control groups (96.0). The authors also reported that GIQLI scores correlated significantly with food tolerance scores.

Additionally, the median excess weight loss was similar in the sleeve gastrectomy and RYGB groups (76.3% and 76.5%, respectively) but significantly lower in the gastric banding group (38.2%).

New York Study

The authors cited the challenge of providing bariatric surgery to an inner-city population in structuring their retrospective review and analysis of 185 consecutive laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy procedures that had completed at least 6 months follow-up. They excluded 11 conversions to laparoscopic RYGB, leaving 174 patients for outcome analysis. About 38% of patients had BMI greater than 50 kg/m2 was 37.94%.

Mean excess weight loss (EWL) was 44.76, 55.52, 59.22 and 58.92% at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months, respectively. Six patients (3.24%) lost less than 25% excess weight loss (EWL). Thirteen patients (7.02%) regained an average of 13 pounds after reaching a plateau.

Resolution/improvement of comorbidities was 84% for diabetes mellitus, 50% for hypertension, 90% for asthma, 90.74% for obstructive sleep apnea, and 45.92% for gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. Mortality rate was zero in this series. Perioperative complications occurred in 26 patients (14.05%). They included four staple-line leaks (2.16%), four bleeds (2.16%), four obstructions (2.16%), five vomiting/dehydration (2.70%), six new onset of GERD symptoms (3.24%), two with pneumonia (1.08%) and one with pulmonary embolism (0.54%).

"LSG results in stable and adequate weight loss with resolution/improvement in comorbidities in a high percentage of patients," the authors wrote.

  1. 1.Overs SE, Freeman RA, Zarshenas N, Walton KL, Jorgensen JO. Food tolerance and gastrointestinal quality of life following three bariatric procedures: Adjustable gastric banding, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy. Obes Surg. Epub 2011 Dec15
  2. 2.Chopra A, Chao E, Etkin Y, Merklinger L, Lieb J, Delany H. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for obesity: can it be considered a definitive procedure? Surg Endosc. E pub 2011 Dec 17

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