The results of a literature review suggest that obesity surgery produces greater weight loss than conventional treatment for moderately obese patients as well as those with severe obesity. The best operation, however, remains unclear.
As reported in The Cochrane Library, Dr. Jill L. Colquitt and colleagues, from the University of Southampton, UK, searched various electronic databases and identified 26 studies that compared weight loss surgical procedures (also called bariatric surgery) with each other or with non-surgical treatments for obesity such as drugs, diets and exercise.
The studies included three randomized trials and three prospective studies that compared surgical with non-surgical treatments. The remaining 20 studies were trials that compared various types of bariatric operations.
Overall, the authors found that surgery provided greater weight loss for any degree of obesity compared with non-surgical treatments. Surgery was also associated with reductions in diabetes, hypertension, and other co-existing conditions. Improvements in health-related quality of life were noted after 2 years, but their long-term persistence was unclear.