Does Gastric Band Improve Quality of Life in Obese Patients?

Does Gastric Band Improve Quality of Life in Obese Patients?

A new study published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases revealed that gastric banding surgery in morbid obese patients improves their health-related quality of life up to three years after the procedure. The study is entitled “Three years durability of the improvements in health-related quality of life observed after gastric banding,” and was conducted by a team led by a researcher at the Policlinico Universitario (Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova) in Italy.

The Health Dangers of Obesity & How Gastric Banding Surgery Helps

Obesity is considered a serious public health problem. It causes a systemic inflammatory state in the body being associated with several chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Bariatric surgery is a weight loss surgery where the size of the stomach is reduced through a gastric band or through removal of part of the stomach. This surgery is highly effective in inducing long-term sustained weight loss in morbid obese patients and has been shown to contribute to health improvements. Bariatric surgery is also associated with a long-term reduction in overall mortality and a decreased incidence of medical conditions like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer.

Health-related quality of life refers to the overall well-being and the physical, mental and social functioning of the individual. Obese patients in the initial period after bariatric surgery have reported a significant improvement in quality of life. However, studies assessing the effects of the procedure over time and the sustainability of the health improvements are scarce.

In the study, researchers collected data from a prospective, multicenter, 3-year Italian study assessing changes on health-related quality of life after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) using the Lap-Band Adjustable Gastric Banding System in 230 morbid obese patients. The study was conducted by the Italian Group for Lap-Ban (Gruppo Italiano Lap-Band – GILBPLUS).

The health-related quality of life was assessed through the standard health survey questionnaire SF-36. All patients at the start of the study reported an impaired quality of life with lower SF-36 scores in comparison to the general Italian population. The average body mass index (BMI) of the patient cohort was 41.4 kg/m2 at baseline (obese class III, the maximum BMI category).

Researchers found that the average BMI of the cohort decreased to 33.8 kg/m2 (obese class I) 12 months after the surgery, having decreased even further to 31.9 kg/m2 (obese class I) 36 months after surgery. The score assessing the physical component was found to improve at 12 months (51.9 to 79.2) and stabilize at 36 months after surgery (79.8). The mental score was also found to improve at 12 months (52.3 to 75.2) and stabilize at 36 months (74.2). However, a decline of more than 10 points was found between 12 and 36 months after surgery in physical component scores in 22% of the patients and in mental component scores in 26.8% of the patients. The team believes that this decline in health-related quality of life in the period 12-36 months post-surgery is linked to the presence of better scores at 12 months and a reduction in the patient’s self-perceived effect of the banding procedure at 36 months.

The research team concluded that the previous overall improvements in health-related quality of life reported one year after gastric banding surgery in obese patients were sustained up to three years after the surgery. These results confirm the efficacy of restrictive gastric banding surgery in improving the patient’s health-related quality of life overall.

What This Means For Obese Patients Researching Gastric Banding Surgery

This study is significant for those researching different types of bariatric surgery procedures, since it provides recent data (the study was published in January of 2015) on the effectiveness of gastric banding surgery in improving health-related quality of life. Other forms of weight loss surgery offer similar results, however, alternate procedures pose serious health risks that are not common with gastric banding. While a procedure such as sleeve gastrectomy can potentially lead to complications such as sepsis, organ failure and death, the gastric band is minimally invasive and a simpler procedure. Combined with new data showing that gastric band patients experience possible health-related quality of life even three years after the surgery is a significant consideration for those contemplating weight loss surgery.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *