Studies from Stanford University, Cleveland Clinic Florida and the Naval Medical Center in San Diego show laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, an increasingly popular surgical procedure where the stomach is reduced by 85 percent, is as safe as or safer than laparoscopic gastric bypass or gastric banding. The studies were presented here at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).
In one study, Stanford University researchers analyzed safety data from nearly 270,000 metabolic and bariatric surgeries performed between 2007 and 2010. Nearly 16,000 of the procedures were sleeve gastrectomies, which had a 30-day serious complication rate of less than one percent (0.96%), compared to a rate of 1.25 percent for gastric bypass and one-quarter of one percent (0.25%) for gastric banding.
The 30-day mortality rate for sleeve gastrectomy was 0.08 percent, while the rate for gastric bypass was 0.14 percent and 0.03 percent for gastric banding. These mortality and complication rates are lower than those typically associated with gallbladder or hip replacement surgery.
Gastric bypass resulted in the most average weight loss after one year. The average body mass index (BMI) after this procedure dropped by about 40 percent (47.7 to 31.2). Sleeve gastrectomy patients experienced about a 30 percent drop (47.5 to 34.1), while gastric band patients had a 20 percent reduction (45.1 to 37.5).
"In terms of risk and benefit, sleeve gastrectomy sits nicely between gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band," said lead study author John Morton, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics at Stanford University.
This data, along with several other large studies published within the last two years, was recently submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as the agency considers a new national coverage determination for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for its beneficiaries.
Researchers from Cleveland Clinic Florida reviewed safety outcomes of more than 2,400 of their patients who had sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass or bariatric and metabolic surgery between 2005 and 2011. This study found sleeve gastrectomy had the lowest complication and reoperation rates of the three procedures.