(HealthDay News) — A comparison of two of the most common types of weight loss surgery indicates that laparoscopic gastric bypass helps patients shed more excess pounds than adjustable gastric banding, but carries a higher risk of short-term complications and long-term hospitalizations. The study was published online October 29 in JAMA Surgery.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 5,800 patients in the United States who had laparoscopic gastric bypass and nearly 1,200 who had gastric banding. Overall, patients who got the laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure lost almost twice the amount of weight as those who got the banding procedure, the researchers found. However, there were more complications with bypass versus banding. Within a month after surgery, 3% of gastric bypass patients had experienced at least one major complication, compared to 1.3% of gastric banding patients.

In longer-term follow-up, the researchers found that in the gastric banding group, 0.2% of patients died, about 12% were hospitalized again, and about 14% had one or more subsequent interventions. In comparison, 0.3% of patients getting bypass died, about 20% faced rehospitalization, and 5.5% required another procedure.

The findings are important but may already be outdated, one expert said. “Since the time this study commenced, there has been a large shift in procedure selection,” Mitchell Roslin, MD, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told HealthDay. “Although the article states that banding and bypass are the two most common procedures, that is no longer true – bands have dropped in popularity.” And he said that a procedure called “vertical sleeve gastrectomy has surpassed gastric bypass as the most popular stapling procedure.”

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