A study recently presented in San Diego compared the postoperative outcomes of sleeve gastrectomy to gastric bypass and band patients. Over a period of 6 years, 1492 bypasses, 602 sleeves and 339 gastric bands were performed at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida. It is important to note that the patients were not randomised to receiving a particular operation. Bands were only inserted into patients with a BMI from 35-50, bypasses for BMI more than 35 and sleeves for any BMI including high risk patients. The percentage of procedures requiring re-operation due to a complication or failure was 15.3% for bands, 7.7% for bypass and only 1.5% for sleeve gastrectomy patients. This led Dr. Rosenthal, one of the study authors to conclude that:

“LSG appears to have the lowest rate of re-operations when compared to banding and bypass, and surprisingly banding had the highest rate of re-intervention,” said Rosenthal. “The primary reason for removing bands was slippage, followed by failure and reflux.”

These findings mirror my own experience with sleeves, which have become increasingly popular due to the combination of safety and effectiveness in reducing and maintaining weight loss over a prolonged period of time. A sleeve combines the strengths of both band and bypass with a low risk profile and minimal nutritional impact. It is important to note however, that each of these operations has a role and is successful in good hands. What may work for one patient, may not work for another which is why it absolutely necessary to consult your surgeon and work out the best option for you.