In this trial of 197 obese patients randomized to either gastric bypass or gastric banding, bypass was more effective (higher percentage of excessive weight, and lower percentage of failures), but bypass was associated with more complications (both short and long term). The risk of complications (primarily bowel obstructions and strictures) should be weighed against the risk of lower efficacy, in deciding type of obesity surgery to perform (abstract). Although these findings seem intuitive, this is the largest randomized trial to date quantifying the risks and benefits of these 2 surgical approaches.
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.