Gastric bypass surgery gets high marks for patient satisfaction and maintenance of substantial weight loss at 11 years post-operatively, according to long-term results of a study published online March 26, 2012 in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.
The researchers point out that this study is one of the few studies to provide information on a large group of gastric bypass patients over a long period of time, as most other present long-term studies have included few patients at the last time-point. This study had a mean follow-up time of 11.4 years (range 7 to 17 years) and included results of 384 gastric bypass patients.
It is also important to note that while many studies have reported on the short-term benefits of gastric bypass surgery, such as the dramatic weight loss and nearly immediate improvement in obesity co-morbidities in the first 18 to 24 months after surgery, this study examines whether or not the benefits can remain over time.
For this study, researchers sent a questionnaire regarding post-operative status to all 539 patients who had undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass as a primary bariatric procedure between 1993 and 2003 at Uppsala and Orebro University Hospitals in Sweden. Of these patients, 384 responded (71.2% response rate, mean age 37.9 years, 317 women, 67 men) to the questionnaire. Follow-up of study participants included blood samples and a review of medical charts.
The following results were reported:
- BMI reduced to 32.5 (BMI was 44.5 at surgery), representing an excess BMI loss of 63.3%
- 72% resolution of orally treated diabetes
- Improvements in sleep apnea and hyperlipidemia
- 2.1% had undergone revisional bariatric surgery
- 40.2% had undergone abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
- Gastrointestinal symptoms were considered tolerable
- 79% of patients reported satisfactory overall result
- 92% of patients would recommend gastric bypass to a friend
- 37% of patients attended annual checkups
- 72% of patients were taking B12 supplements
- 24% of patients were taking multivitamins
Based on their findings, the researchers noted that surprisingly few patients were compliant with the recommendation of lifelong supplements and yearly checkups. They also mentioned the successful maintenance of substantial weight loss, the rarity of revisional bariatric surgery, and the high patient satisfaction with gastric bypass surgery.
As obesity continues to pose a significant health challenge to people in the United States, it is worth our time and effort to learn more about the various treatments currently available as well as continuing to search for other safe and effective options. To date, the research shows that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass weight loss surgery continues to offer an acceptable and effective treatment for morbid obesity with satisfactory long-term results.
Source: Article in Press “Long-term results 11 years after primary gastric bypass in 384 patients” published online 26 March 2012 in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases (SOARD), the Official Journal of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)