Gastric banding or bypass? A systematic review comparing the two most popular bariatric procedures.Tice JA, Karliner L, Walsh J, Petersen AJ, Feldman MD. Am J Med. 2008 Oct;121(10):885-93. OBJECTIVE: Bariatric surgical procedures have increased exponentially in the United States. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is now promoted as a safer, potentially reversible and effective alternative to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the current standard of care. This study evaluated the balance of patient-oriented clinical outcomes for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. METHODS: The MEDLINE database (1966 to January 2007), Cochrane clinical trials database, Cochrane reviews database, and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects were searched using the key terms gastroplasty, gastric bypass, laparoscopy, Swedish band, and gastric banding. Studies with at least 1 year of follow-up that directly compared laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass were included. Resolution of obesity-related comorbidities, percentage of excess body weight loss, quality of life, perioperative complications, and long-term adverse events were the abstracted outcomes. RESULTS: The search identified 14 comparative studies (1 randomized trial). Few studies reported outcomes beyond 1 year. Excess body weight loss at 1 year was consistently greater for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass than laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (median difference, 26%; range, 19%-34%; P < .001). Resolution of comorbidities was greater after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. In the highest-quality study, excess body weight loss was 76% with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass versus 48% with laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, and diabetes resolved in 78% versus 50% of cases, respectively. Both operating room time and length of hospitalization were shorter for those undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Adverse events were inconsistently reported. Operative mortality was less than 0.5% for both procedures. Perioperative complications were more common with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (9% vs 5%), whereas long-term reoperation rates were lower after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (16% vs 24%). Patient satisfaction favored Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (P=.006). CONCLUSION: Weight loss outcomes strongly favored Roux-en-Y gastric bypass over laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Patients treated with laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding had lower short-term morbidity than those treated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, but reoperation rates were higher among patients who received laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Gastric bypass should remain the primary bariatric procedure used to treat obesity in the United States.