Patient Safety Prompted Shift in Weight-Loss Surgery

Sleeve gastrectomy was most prevalent bariatric surgery option for obese patients

(RxWiki News) As the rate of obesity increases, many patients may turn to bariatric surgery as a weight-loss solution that can cut down on potential health problems associated with being overweight.

Bariatric surgery prompts weight loss by altering the stomach so that it holds less food.

New research looked at the shifting trends in the type of procedure doctors suggested.

"Discuss the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery with a gastroenterologist."

The research letter was written by Bradley Reames, MD, of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues.

Two primary types of bariatric surgery are sleeve gastrectomy (SG), during which part of the stomach is removed, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), which creates a small stomach pouch which bypasses part of the small intestine.

Dr. Reames and team looked at data from 43,732 patients who had bariatric surgery in Michigan between June 2006 and December 2013 to identify trends.

They found that the use of SG increased from 6 percent in 2008 to 67.3 percent in 2013.

During that same period, RYGB use decreased from 58 to 27.4 percent.

Although SG was the most common procedure for all the patients, its use was lower in patients older than 65, patients with type 2 diabetes and patients with acid reflux disease.

The authors attributed the increase in SG to the fact that it was safer and often more successful two to three years after surgery.

The authors noted that the long-term outcomes of SG were still unclear.

“These findings are important to inform primary care physicians of the predominant bariatric procedure currently used,” the authors wrote.

The research letter was published online Sept. 2 in JAMA.

The National Cancer Institute funded the study. An author disclosed serving as a consultant for and having financial interest in ArborMetrix, Inc.

Review Date: 
September 2, 2014