Effectiveness of bariatric surgical procedures: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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Bariatric surgery has proved to be an effective strategy in treating obesity. However, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of 3 most common bariatric surgery procedures, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), sleeve gastrectomy (SG), and laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB), reported inconsistent results. We performed a systematic review and network meta-analysis to synthesize evidence of effectiveness of the 3 common bariatric procedures from relevant RCTs.


The present study was a systematic review and network meta-analysis of RCTs. All RCTs must meet the following criteria to be included in the analysis: patients with body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2, reported at least 1 outcome of interest, compared at least 2 of the 3 bariatric procedures, and had follow-ups of at least 1 year. Primary outcome was weight loss, expressed as differences in mean BMI reduction and percentage excess weight loss (%EWL) following 1 year after the surgery. Network meta-analysis was based on Bayesian framework with Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation approach.


Eleven RCTs that met the criteria were included in the review. Of 9 trials (n = 765), the differences in mean BMI reduction were −0.76 (95% CI: −3.1 to 1.6) for RYGB versus SG, −5.8 (95% CI: −9.2 to −2.4) for RYGB versus LAGB, and −5.0 (95% CI: −9.0 to −1.0) for SG versus LAGB. Eight RCTs (n = 656) reported percentage excess weight-loss (%EWL), the mean differences between RYGB and SG, RYGB and LAGB, and SG and LAGB were 3.8% (95% CI: −8.5% to 13.8%), −22.2% (95% CI: −34.7% to −6.5%), and −26.0% (95% CI: −40.6% to −6.4%), respectively. The meta-analysis indicated low heterogeneity between studies, and the node splitting analysis showed that the studies were consistent between direct and indirect comparisons (P > .05).


The RYGB and SG yielded similar in weight-loss effect and both were superior to LAGB. Other factors such as complications and patient preference should be considered during surgical consultations.

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