What’s the safest weight-loss surgery? A study analyses

Published on: 8 October 2021, 15:33 pm IST

Are you thinking of weight loss via surgery? A new study tells you which out of the two most common surgeries you should go for.

types of obesity
Excess weight can cause a host of health issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Weight loss concerns have risen parallel to the increasing cases of obesity across the world. This has not just sparked interest in weight loss regimes, but also surgeries. Out of two most common weight loss surgeries, a research team has found that sleeve gastrectomy is safer than gastric bypass.

Sleeve gastrectomy vs Gastric bypass for weight loss

Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing part of the stomach, while gastric bypass involves the stomach being divided into pouches.

The research team was led by the University of Michigan Health, and the findings of the study were published in the journal ‘JAMA Surgery’.

Risks of weight loss surgeries

As per the research, five years after each procedure, patients who had undergone a sleeve gastrectomy had a lower risk of death and complications than those who had undergone gastric bypass surgery.

Also, read: 5 misconceptions about bariatric surgery that must be debunked right away
However, gastric bypass was one up on one front. Sleeve gastrectomy patients were more likely to need follow-up surgery, which could indicate that gastric bypass is more effective long-term, even though it carries more risks.

weight loss
Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment option for weight loss and weight maintenance in the long term. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“It’s really important for patients to understand the risk of significant issues like death, complications, and hospitalisation after these two procedures because that helps inform the decision about which type of bariatric surgery to choose,” said Ryan Howard, MD, a general surgery resident at Michigan Medicine and the first author of the study.

“You could envision a scenario where a patient is averse to that risk, and so even if a sleeve gastrectomy doesn’t confer as much weight loss, they may want it because it’s the safer surgery,” Howard added.

“On the other hand, if a patient has a lot of comorbidities, and a bypass is going to afford a better clinical benefit, maybe that risk is worth it,” Howard concluded.

While short-term studies have shown that sleeve gastrectomy is the safer choice, but this latest study is one of the largest to analyse the outcomes of the two operations over a longer period of time.

(With inputs from ANI)

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