Background: To investigate the role of sleeve gastrectomy for patients with class I obesity (body mass index 30-35 kg/m(2)) at a private hospital with self-paying patients. Randomized trials have shown a benefit for bariatric surgery compared with conservative treatment in patients with class I obesity. Sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new method that has not been previously evaluated in this group of patients.
Methods: We performed a prospective, consecutive, nonrandomized trial of 79 patients. This is the initial report of the first 23 patients with > or =6 months of follow-up.
Results: The patients lost, on average, 100% of their excess body mass index in the first 6 months for an average body mass index of 25 kg/m(2). Most co-morbidities had resolved or improved. Their quality of life was regarded as excellent or very good by most patients. Some complications occurred in the early phase of our series, but after adjusting our operative technique and the routines for venous thromboembolic prophylaxis, the complications were reduced.
Conclusion: Sleeve gastrectomy results in a promising early weight loss and quality of life improvement in patients with class I obesity. However, additional studies of larger numbers of patients with longer follow-up are necessary before any firm conclusions can be drawn.