Impact of routine and long-term follow-up on weight loss after laparoscopic gastric bypass

Published:October 18, 2007DOI:



      Weight loss after gastric bypass varies among patients. It is difficult to maintain contact with patients who have undergone surgery several years previously. Continued and long-term follow-up care at a bariatric surgery clinic might be a factor affecting long-term excess weight loss (EWL).


      Patients with 3–4 years of follow-up data after laparoscopic gastric bypass were included in this retrospective analysis. The patients were divided into 3 groups: group 1 patients had attended every scheduled postoperative appointment, group 2 patients had attended every appointment for 1 year before being lost to follow-up, and group 3 patients had been lost to follow-up before 1 year. Comparisons were made to determine the relationship between the length of follow-up and EWL.


      We identified 34 group 1 patients and 51 group 2 or 3 patients of 130 patients eligible to be included as determined by their date of surgery. The interval since surgery was similar at approximately 3 years. Although the EWL did not differ at 1 year of follow-up (mean EWL 70% for group 1 versus 65% for group 2, P >.05), a significant difference in the EWL was observed at 3–4 years (74% for group 1 versus 61% for group 2 versus 56% for group 3; P <.05). The distance traveled to the clinic was similar for all 3 groups. The most common explanation for missed follow-up appointments was a lack of insurance coverage.


      Laparoscopic gastric bypass patients who attended all scheduled follow-up appointments experienced greater long-term weight loss than those who did not. On-going, multidisciplinary care is likely a critical component in maintaining the benefit after surgery. Patients must be encouraged to continue to attend their bariatric medical appointments, and payors should provide coverage for these visits.


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