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Gastric Bypass Is Superior to Adjustable Gastric Band in Super Morbidly Obese Patients

According to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, gastric bypass is better than adjustable gastric banding in super morbidly obese patients. Why does this matter? Bariatric surgery by laparoscopy, or keyhole surgery, to assist obese patients in weight loss has been proven to work, and is even offered by HMOs such as Kaiser. When an insurance company that is run by doctors, like Kaiser, decides it profits them to provide a surgery -- you can bet it provides some benefit.

What is a super morbidly obese patient? It's a patient with a body mass index greater than 50 [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters]. That may sound complicated, but it's easy: take your weight in pounds, multiply by 703, divide that answer by your height in inches, then divide that answer by your height in inches again. Check this chart to see if you are under- over- or just the right weight.

The article reviewed the outcomes of 106 super morbidly obese adults, and shows that these patients liked gastric bypass more, lose more weight by it, and suffer less complications from it. This is a small study but is prompting more investigation into just how well gastric banding performs, since it was until now seen as a possibly as effective and less invasive alternative to the traditional gastric bypass surgery.

For more opinions, most of the recent Google News on gastric banding covers this article.

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About the Author


Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.