A surgical option for super-obese patients has been proven effective in weight reduction, according to a study released by the Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco.
Adjustable gastric banding was used on 71 super-obese volunteers, with patients at one year after surgery showing a mean excess weight loss of 39.2 per cent, which rose to 60.5 per cent after five years.
Belgium's Saint-Pierre University, which carried out the study, found a complication rate of 26.7 per cent; general surgeons were responsible for 15 of the complications compared with four for experienced bariatric surgeons.
"The study highlights the specialised nature of bariatric procedures and the complications that can arise, especially when operating on the super-obese," said Dr Gregg Jossart, a spokesperson for the Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco.
"I think the results demonstrate that patients should find a bariatric surgeon to perform these procedures. There is always a risk, and the best way to minimise that risk it is to go with the safest, most experienced option," he added.
Mean body mass index for the study's patients dropped by 55.5 before obesity surgery to 34.6 after.
The Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco are a group of specialist bariatric surgeons who perform the four major bariatric procedures.