Background: The use of bariatric surgery in the management of morbid obesity is rapidly increasing. The two most frequently performed procedures are laparoscopic Roux-en-Y bypass and laparoscopic gastric banding. The objective of this short overview is to provide a critical appraisal of the most relevant scientific evidence comparing laparoscopic gastric banding versus laparoscopic Roux-en-Y bypass in the treatment of morbidly obese patients.
Results and discussion: There is mounting and convincing evidence that laparoscopic gastric banding is suboptimal at best in the management of morbid obesity. Although short-term morbidity is low and hospital length of stay is short, the rates of long-term complications and band removals are high, and failure to lose weight after laparoscopic gastric banding is prevalent.
Conclusion: The placement of a gastric band appears to be a disservice to many morbidly obese patients and therefore, in the current culture of evidence based medicine, the prevalent use of laparoscopic gastric banding can no longer be justified. Based on the current scientific literature, the laparoscopic gastric bypass should be considered the treatment of choice in the management of morbidly obese patients.