MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to shedding pounds and improving or eliminating type 2 diabetes, gastric bypass surgery may be better than other surgical weight-loss procedures, two new studies find.
But obese patients should be careful to choose surgeons who have performed a high volume of these procedures before committing, said Dr. Guilherme M. Campos, lead author of one of two papers appearing in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.
Gastric bypass and lap-banding are the two most common surgical weight-loss procedures performed in the United States. The former involves stapling the stomach so food has to bypass a section of the small intestine, meaning you get full faster and less food gets absorbed into the gut.
Lap-banding, introduced in 2001, involves separating the stomach into two sections with a band so, simply speaking, eating too much becomes more difficult. "It's a diet with a seatbelt," said Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
In a third type of weight-loss procedure, known as sleeve gastrectomy, surgeons remove part of the stomach.
The study led by Campos compared weight loss and diabetes outcomes in 100 patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery with 100 patients who underwent lap-banding. Gastric bypass is considered riskier and more technically demanding than the band.
All patients were morbidly obese (with a body-mass index higher than 40), and 34 in each group had type 2 diabetes.
Although Campos is now an associate professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, he conducted the study while at the University of California, San Francisco.
In the bypass group, patients lost an average of 64 percent of their excess weight, vs. 36 perc
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