A new study has added to the growing evidence that specific medical weight loss programs and surgeries like gastric bypass can help patients sustain weight loss for substantial periods of time.
Although it’s a complicated type of surgery, gastric bypass has been performed for the past 50 years. The surgery is performed by stapling off a portion of the stomach to create a small pouch. The pouch is then connected to the small intestine. In basic terms, the surgery shrinks the stomach and then bypasses part of the small intestine to limit food digestion.
Although some patients express concern that they will gain back any lost weight after undergoing these types of weight loss surgery options, the study found that the majority of patients who receive these types of surgeries remain at a lower weight for 10 years or more. The results were a pleasant surprise even to clinicians.
The study compared data from patients who underwent different types of medical weight loss programs — from gastric bypass to lap bands — and found that the gastric bypass surgeries were by far the most successful for those in the data pool. The average bypass surgery patient lost 31% of their baseline weight, while those who chose a non-surgical option for weight reduction lost only 1% of their baseline weight on average.
Of course, there are many benefits of a gastric sleeve over gastric bypass. Gastric sleeve surgery is much less complex, and it’s become quite popular in recent years. According to this study, gastric sleeve patients lost an average of 18% of their baseline body weight at the four-year mark, which means that it’s very much a viable option for many folks. However, compared to the 28% body weight loss that gastric bypass patients experienced in the study within the same amount of time, gastric bypass may be a more attractive option for some.
Lap bands have also grown in popularity, but the results of lap band patients in this study showed that their weight loss — though measurable — was less impressive over time. At the four-year mark, patients displayed an average of 11% loss in body weight. In addition, there are a number of lap band complications associated with the surgery. Although there’s an incredibly low number of fatalities from these types of medical weight loss programs, up to half of patients require lap band removal at some point.
The overall good news from the study is that even when patients gain weight post-surgery, they can still experience increased health benefits. It’s been noted that any kind of weight loss surgery actually changes digestive system hormones, which signals a feeling of fullness to the brain. This is the change that can help sustain weight loss over time. In addition, these types of medical weight loss programs and surgeries can help improve physical health and quality of life — and, in many cases, emotional well-being as a result.
If you’re interested in finding out how you can improve your life with bariatric surgery, please contact us today to find out the option that would be best for you. Our skilled staff of weight loss doctors will identify your needs and desires, and will get you started on the journey to achieving your weight loss dreams.