Background: Laparoscopy is believed to reduce recovery time and patient discomfort following bariatric surgical operations. This study tests that hypothesis.
Methods: 60 randomly selected bariatric surgery patients, consisting of 20 open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP), 19 lap RYGBP, and 21 laparoscopic adjustable banding, were studied. Outcome measures including hospital length of stay (LOS), days to return to normal activity, days to surgical recovery, and pain medication usage were defined by the patients' subjective responses to a retrospective questionnaire. Overall differences among the three surgeries were first determined using the Kruskal-Wallis test, and then individual comparisons were made between each of the three pairs of operations using a Wilcoxon rank-sum test when a significant difference existed.
Results: Patients reported an average LOS of 3.45 days following open RYGBP, 2.47 days following lap RYGBP, and 1.33 days following Lap-Band surgery. There was little difference in return to normal activity, with open RYGBP patients reporting a 17.55 day delay in return to normal activity, and lap RYGBP reporting an 18.16 day delay. In contrast, Lap-Band patients responded that the delay was only 7.24 days. Days to recovery were reported to be 29.05 for open RYGBP patients, 21.68 for lap RYGBP patients and 15.81 for Lap-Band patients. Hospital days (P=0.0002), days to normal activity (P=0.0115), and days to recovery (P<0.0001) differed significantly among the surgery types. Lap and open RYGBP did not differ significantly regarding days to resumption of normal activities. Open RYGBP and banding differed significantly regarding days to recovery (P <0.001).
Conclusions: Lap-Band patients returned to normal activity levels earlier than gastric bypass patient's irrespective of approach. Lap-Band patients also reported recovering from surgery significantly sooner than open RYGBP patients. Perceived differences in recovery time between open and laparoscopic RYGBP patients did not affect their time to resumption of normal activity.