Is Gastric Band Surgery More Beneficial to Women?

Gastric band surgery is considered to be the least invasive type of weight loss surgery and the safest with a low complication rate.  However, researchers at the Department of Urology at Austin Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, found that the surgery had a different risk for men then it did for women.  They found that in some cases it worsened urinary function in men along with sexual function, common problems for obese people while it improved urinary function and quality of life for women. The results of this study were published in the January 2011 issue of the Urology journal BJUI.

What the Gastric Band Surgery Research Involved:

Gastric Band Surgery is one standard treatment used for excessive weight when diet and lifestyle change has failed.  It can improve risk factors such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.  This research was intended to learn solely about the effects of this surgery on urinary and sexual function of obese patients as very little is known on this particular subject to the medical world and these are two very common problems in obese people.

  • The study was carried out on 176 patients comprising of 34 men and 142 women who underwent Gastric Band Surgery.
  • The average age of women participants was around 48 years and the average age for men was just under 53 years.
  • Before surgery 65 percent of the women and 24 percent of the men had some urinary incontinence while 83 percent of the men had erection issues.
  • Before surgery, the average weight of the women and men participants was 118 kg and 146 kg respectively.   Following surgery, nearly each gender group shed 23 kg of weight.

Knowledge Gained from the Gastric Band Surgery Research:

After three to four months post surgery, women reported significant improvements in their issues related to urinary function and their quality of life score also showed improvement for every kilogram of weight lost.  However, urge incontinence in these women was found to worsen, which the doctors do not attribute to the outcome of the surgery.  The surgery proved to be of no benefit to men in regards to urinary and sexual function.  Non-surgical weight loss treatments emerged as more beneficial in addressing the same issue of urinary and sexual functions in comparison to weight loss surgery such as Gastric Band Surgery in obese people.

While these doctors are quite convinced about the positive results of their study they stress the need for further studies on the subject to gain more insight on unresolved issues.


Bariatric Surgical Procedures: http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare

What Happens After Adjustable Gastric-Lap Band Surgery: http://womenshealth.about.com/od/fitnessandhealth/a/weightlosssurg_3.htm

Weight Loss Surgery: http://womenshealth.about.com/od/fitnessandhealth/a/weightlosssurg.htm

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