Background: The clinical significance of sleeve gastrectomy (SG) as a primary bariatric intervention is still under debate. This article aims to systematically analyze excessive weight loss (EWL) in patients after SG.
Methods: A systematic literature search on SG from the period January 2003 to December 2010 was performed. Data described from systematic reviews dealing with gastric bypass procedures was used as comparator.
Results: The final study included 123 papers describing 12,129 patients. Most of the papers describe EWL at 12 months (43.9% of all papers). For SG, the maximum EWL occurred 24 and 36 months postoperatively with a mean EWL of 64.3% (minimum 46.1%, maximum 75.0%) and 66.0% (minimum 60.0%, maximum 77.5%), respectively. At 12 months, the mean EWL in patients receiving SG was significantly lower when compared to patients who underwent gastric bypass (SG 56.1%, gastric bypass 68.3%; p < 0.01, two-sided Wilcoxon test). Although patients with gastric bypass still had higher EWL rates at 24 months compared to patients after SG, these differences were not significant (SG 61.3%, gastric bypass 69.6%; p = 0.09, two-sided Wilcoxon rank-sum test). Reoperations after SG are necessary in 6.8% (range 0.7-25%) of cases with patients receiving SG as a stand alone procedure and in 9.6-28.5% of cases with patients undergoing SG as a planned first stage procedure.
Conclusions: SG is an effective bariatric procedure with a lasting effect on EWL. Compared with gastric bypasses, there is no difference in EWL at the time point of 24 months.