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Popular Weight Loss Sleeve Surgery Update You Need to Know

Tim Boyer's picture
Weight Loss Sleeve Surgery

The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) surgical technique for weight loss is growing in popularity for many who are obese and unable to lose weight through dieting and exercise. While it has proven effective for weight loss immediately following surgery, there is an important update about this popular weight loss surgical technique that you need to know.


When choosing a bariatric procedure for weight loss, it pays to do your research, weigh the pros versus the cons, and then decide on which will benefit you the most. However, the majority of the data available reveals only the immediate, short-term benefits and negatives due to the fact that this is still a relatively young field of medicine.

Addressing this shortcoming of data, a new study published in the journal JAMA Surgery analyzed how bariatric patients who chose sleeve-style weight loss surgery fared during their first 5 years following surgery. The objective of the study was to investigate the long-term effects of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on weight loss, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperuricemia.

Gleaning data from a population of 443 patients at Rabin Medical Center at Beilinson Hospital in Peta Tikvah, Israel, who had laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, researchers were able to factor in useable data out of 241 patients for the first-year follow-up; 128 patients for the third-year follow-up; and 39 patients for the fifth-year follow-up. The significance of knowing these numbers is that it shows that the final sample sizes used in their statistical analysis were relatively small.

After crunching the numbers, what the researchers found was that many of the patients had significant weight regain and a return of their type 2 diabetes during the five-year period.

According to interview quotes of the researchers by CBS News:

"The longer follow-up data revealed weight regain and a decrease in remission rates for type 2 diabetes mellitus and other obesity-related co-morbidities," lead author Dr. Andrei Keidar of Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva Israel, said in a statement.

"These data should be taken into consideration in the decision-making process for the most appropriate operation for a given obese patient."

So, should these results weigh more heavily as a con toward patient decision making as to whether choose other bariatric surgical techniques over the sleeve technique? Not necessarily. As pointed out by health experts, the finding needs further investigation making side-by-side comparisons to other weight loss surgical techniques.

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"There are numerous studies that seems to hint that the sleeve is maybe less effective than the gastric bypass on long-term efficacy in the treatment of diabetes," said Dr. Namir Katkhouda, professor of surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and director of the bariatric surgery program, adding that the new finding, "…begs the ultimate question of comparing prospectively, in a randomized fashion, the sleeve to the bypass. And then we'll see who emerges as the winner."

For now however, bariatric surgery—even the afore-discussed laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy technique―remains a recommended treatment for the obese due to the fact that patients are benefitting from the subsequent weight loss.

"Weight loss surgery, if you are morbidly obese and you have tried and failed other conservative methods," said Katkhouda, "[is] a very safe and effective operation for weight loss and for treatment of other co-morbidities, such as hypertension and especially Type 2 diabetes. That remark includes the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and the sleeve. I find both very effective and safe."

Here are some informative articles comparing the different types of weight loss surgery:

Two Weight Loss Surgery Procedures Measure Up after 3 Years

Obesity Weight Loss: Duodenal Switch Beats Gastric Bypass

Lesser Used Surgical Method Actually Results in More Weight Loss


“Long-term Metabolic Effects of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy”
JAMA Surgery Published online August 05, 2015; Inbal Golomb, BSc; Matan Ben David, MD; Adi Glass, BSc; Tamara Kolitz, MD; Andrei Keidar, MD.

CBS NewsBenefits of some weight-loss surgeries diminish over time