Hospital stay for bypass is usually two days, and banding usually one day, but this can vary depending on surgeon, hospital and complications.
Dr. Jacques Himpens, from the European School of Laparoscopic Surgery at Saint Pierre University Hospital in Brussels and author of an accompanying journal editorial, is less concerned with a particular procedure than with the specific surgeon.
"Not all surgeons can do bypasses," he said. "Maybe they don't have the skills or the experience, but in any case it's not the best option because they are not up to it," he said. "That's the case for many surgeons."
In addition, it is not clear what the long-term results of a bypass are, because there is evidence that although a bypass "cures" diabetes, it does come back after time, Himpens said.
"The bypass is a very good procedure, but not everyone can do it and we have to be very careful and watch what the long-term effects of the procedure are," he said.
Also, while a gastric bypass causes changes in metabolism, banding does not, Himpens said.
"But the good thing is that it is reversible. When you take out the band, no harm has been done and you can still do another procedure if you need to," he said.
However, among patients who receive bands, only 40 percent retain them after 10 years, either because of complications or the desire to have it removed, Himpens said.
For more on gastric bypass procedures, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Michel Suter, M.D., chief surgeon, Chablais Hospital, Aigle, Switzerland; Edward Livingston, M.D., the Dr. Lee Hudson-Robert R. Penn Chair in Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Jacques Himpens, M.D., European School of Laparoscopic Surgery, Saint Pierre University Hospital, Brussel
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