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DECISIONS, DECISIONS… New Research Analyzes What Really Counts When Considering Weight Loss Surgery

Written by Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery   Last modified on December 13, 2018

Most people base the decision to undergo weight loss surgery on expected out-of-pocket costs and weight-loss potential — not risk of complications or recovery time, according to a new study in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers from Michigan Medicine asked 815 adults who were pursuing bariatric surgery to share what procedure characteristics mattered most to them. Their options included treatment method, recovery and reversibility, time that treatment has been available, expected weight loss, effect on other medical conditions, risk of complication, adverse effects, changes to diet, and out-of-pocket costs. 

obese patient waist measurement

The new findings suggest that gastric bypass — the weight loss surgery that produces the most dramatic weight loss — would be the most popular procedure, but gastric sleeve currently holds this title. (A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that adults with severe obesity had greater initial and sustained weight loss with gastric bypass than gastric sleeve or gastric banding surgery.)
Younger study participants (aged 18 to 44) were more likely than older ones to choose treatments that produced more weight loss and were more sensitive to out-of-pocket costs, the study showed. Men were more likely than women to say they wanted a weight-loss surgery that could help them stop taking medication to control high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and to achieve remission of obesity-related sleep apnea.

How do Gastric Sleeve and Bypass Stack Up?

The average cost of gastric sleeve surgery is $10,000, with gastric bypass costs ranging from $18,000 to $35,000, depending on where you live. Insurance may cover some of the costs of the surgery.

As far as weight loss goes, most people who have gastric sleeve surgery lose 50 to 80 percent of their excess body weight over the first six months to one year after surgery, and gastric bypass produces 60 to 80 percent excess weight loss in the same time frame, on average.

Interesting findings indeed, but we what to know what matters most to you. Tweet us now at @UrBariatricSgGd.

Find a bariatric surgeon near you and get started on the path to your best life.