Weighing The Options, Which Weight Loss Procedure Is Best?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)–An estimated 220,000 Americans have weight loss surgery every year. That’s double the number of a decade ago. There are two common types of procedures, and a new study has found that one may be more effective.

Many obese patients choose gastric banding surgery for weight loss. It is a simpler operation than gastric bypass surgery .

But a new study of the two popular procedures shows that gastric bypass patients lose weight more quickly and keep it off longer.

Bypass surgery can be more risky in the short run, but research shows that there are significantly more long-term complications and re-operations after gastric banding.

Vonett Trotman told CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez that she struggled with serious weight problems and was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The diagnoses prompted her to undergo a gastric banding procedure.

“I was so heavy, when I went to the doctor, no scale would be able to tell me my weight,” she said.

Doctors put an adjustable band around the very top part of her stomach. The band limits the amount that a person can eat. Rotman thought that the band was the safest option, but years later she had to have the band removed.

Trotman wasn’t losing any weight and she began to experience chest pains.

Her experience was not unusual.

Nearly half of patients who chose gastric banding were still obese after six years, according to a study in the Archives of Surgery. Patients also had more long-term problems and follow-up operations than those who had gastric bypass surgery.

A gastric bypass involves using staples to create a small stomach pouch to re-route food around a section of the small intestine.

The study found that people who had gastric bypass surgery lost more weight more quickly  and kept it off longer than those who had the band.

Bariatric surgeon Dr. Mitchell Roslin says that there’s a reason that bypass patients may have better results. Roslin is the Head of Obesity Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.

“When we actually remove part of the stomach we change the hormones that control hunger and fullness and we change people’s relationship with food,” he said.

Trotman regrets choosing the gastric band.

“It was a big mistake. It was an experience that I learned from but  it was a big mistake ,” she said.

Trotman underwent gastric bypass in the fall and has lost 77lbs, with diet and exercise she plans to lose even more.

The study found that the risk of a deadly complication was somewhat greater with the gastric bypass surgery than with banding, but the researchers concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Have you had a weight loss related procedure? Which did you choose and what prompted your decision? Leave your thoughts in our comments section below…

  • MB

    I had Lab-Band 8 years ago–had wonderful results but was one of those people who had bad side effect–esophageal problem developed and had band loosened and then removed. What they don’t tell you is with the band the severe calorie restriction also alters your metabolism so when it is loosened or removed you gain weight at an enormous rate–your body is in “starvation mode”–this was confirmed by a few physicians. It was a horrible and life-changing experience to regain 100+ hard lost lbs in a very short time. I left my original surgeon and found another…I was not candidate for the typical by-pass because of Lap-Band and other damage, but had another, more “radical” surgery–dudenal switch, which, when done properly by a great surgeon, such as Dr. Roslin, is healthy and lifesaving. Should be considered as well. But not all surgeons do this surgery and it MUST be done by an experienced and dedicated surgeon who personalizes the procedure to the patient and doesn’t “cookie-cutter” and assembly line their practice to maximize the $$$. Good luck to all out there and DO YOUR RESEARCH.

  • sherry

    Any comments about the vertical sleeve procedure? Is it as good as the gastric bypass?

  • ScottB

    Just wondering… how many of the people who had either procedures… eat correctly? That is… do they eat the proper amount of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbs? My bet is no. I know several people who have had one or the other surgeries and while they dropped the weight off fast… the weight came back. One even died obese 10 years after gastric bypass. This isn’t rocket science. Eat well, exercise, stop smoking, drinking, and sleep. Stay away from anything pre-packaged and fast food. Prepare you meals yourself and turn the TV off during meal times. Having conversation will help you chew your food better and slow you down. Then the brain will have time to comprehend that the body is satisfied.

  • dan

    I had the lap band done seven years ago and have kept of every once with normal seasonal variations of course. I was 420 when I had it done and took of 115 in about 13 months then levelled of until I began exercising regularly and took of another 35. The lap band for me was a great choice as a tool for me changing the way I live and used food. No procedure will take away ones own responsibility for mashing it work. The ability to adjust the band was very important because knowing just how big the new stomach should be is not an exact science note the same fir every person. Acid reflux is an issue with both procedures and with my band they were able to eliminate all of it by loosening the band oh so slightly. Can’t do tart with bypass.

  • Zutronic

    I have a number of friends who have gotten both and both sides have an equal amount of drawbacks. Apparently if you don’t chew your food thoroughly, it hurts going around the band and may cause it to break if the piece of food is too large and if this is done frequently.

  • NL9075

    Adderall and or Ritalin (yes they are ADHD meds) but they are very effective. You don’t have those food cravings and it speeds up your metabolism and helps your attention span.

  • Art Oliver

    I had lap band 13 months ago, after 8 months I lost 70lbs, but now I’m gainig it back and I have had 2 fills, there is one thing that I beleive that the banding society is not telling the truth about and that is that banding stops your cravings, as far as I’m concern it does’nt do that, after I eat im hungry 30 minutes later.I’m trying to lose but I’m not sure what to do now.

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