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Surg Endosc. 2015 Apr;29(4):947-54. doi: 10.1007/s00464-014-3758-5. Epub 2014 Aug 9.

Twenty-first century weight loss: banding versus bypass.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, PO Box 800679, Charlottesville, VA, 22908-0679, USA,



The two most commonly performed procedures for bariatric surgery include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and adjustable gastric banding (AGB). While many studies have commented on short-term, postoperative outcomes of these procedures, few have reported long-term data. The purpose of this study was to compare long-term, postoperative outcomes between RYGB and AGB.


This was a retrospective, cohort comparing all patients undergoing RYGB or AGB at our institution, from 01/1998 to 08/2012. Patients were followed at 1-, 3-, and 5-year intervals. Adjusted, Cox proportional hazard regression and mixed effects repeated measures modeling were performed to generate cure ratios (CR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI).


Two thousand four hundred twenty bariatric surgery patients (380 AGB, 2,040 RYGB) were identified by CPT code. Median (range) follow-up for patients was 3 (1-5) years. Preoperatively, RYGB patients were significantly younger, more obese, had higher hemoglobin A1c, and less often suffered from hypertension (HTN), dyslipidemia, and asthma as compared to AGB patients. Postoperatively, RYGB patients experienced significantly longer operating room times, higher incidences of intensive care unit admissions, longer hospital lengths of stay, and increased incidence of small bowel obstruction compared to AGB patients. After adjusting for statistically significant and clinically relevant factors [e.g., age, gender, body mass index, degenerative joint disease (DJD), diabetes, HTN, dyslipidemia, heart disease, apnea, and asthma], RYGB was independently associated with a significantly greater percentage of total body weight loss (p = 0.0065) and greater CR (95 % CI) regarding gastroesophageal reflux disease [2.1(1.4-3.0)], DJD [3.4(2.0-5.6)], diabetes [3.4(2.2-5.4)], apnea [3.1(1.9-5.3)], HTN [5.5(3.4-8.8)], and dyslipidemia [6.3(3.5-11)] compared to AGB.


Our results support previous studies that have observed a greater weight loss associated with RYGB as compared to AGB and provide further evidence toward the long-term sustainability of this weight loss. Additionally, RYGB appears to result in a greater reduction of medical comorbidity.

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