Gastric Banding And Long-Term Weight Loss Results
An interesting phenomenon I have seen in recent papers reporting long-term outcomes is a disparity between some programs that are heavily devoted to gastric banding and programs that emphasize gastric bypass more. Perhaps predictably, the programs that are very “pro-band” tend to report better weight loss outcomes than centers that emphasize gastric bypass surgery.
There are always multiple reasons for discrepancies in data in any kind of medical studies or scientific trials. But, as our own center has matured over the years and as banding has become an increasingly important component of what we offer, I think there is an important and possibly overlooked explanation for the differences in the long-term weight loss results reported by different studies. And here it is: programs that emphasize gastric banding as a weight loss solution must invest heavily in the long-term follow-up program. For us, this has meant hiring and retaining outstanding nurse practitioners, physician assistants and dieticians who serve on the front lines and see the majority of the patients long-term for their follow-up, band fills, encouragements and coaching. The regular weigh in’s, the accountability this brings, and the opportunity to do ongoing metabolic testing, vitamin testing, counseling and coaching is invaluable in the long-term weight loss success for band patients.
In the future I am confident that our program will be able to demonstrate long-term weight loss results among thousands of gastric band patients that are equal to the outstanding results that we have achieved in the last decade with gastric bypass surgery. I think the infrastructure, personnel and long-term follow-up program will enable those results just as it has for some other centers around the world.