Impact of routine and long-term follow-up on weight loss after bariatric surgery
Background Weight loss after bariatric surgery varies among patients. Patients who do not complete long-term follow-up are considered to loose less weight than those with regular follow-up visits. Objective To evaluate the influence of patients' follow-up compliance on long-term excess weight loss (%EWL) and total weight loss (%TWL) after bariatric surgery, comparing results between gastric bypass (GB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG). Methods Patients with up to 5 years of follow-up data after bariatric surgery were included in this retrospective analysis. Patients were divided in 2 groups: those in group 1 who had attended every scheduled postoperative appointment and those in group 2 who had been lost to follow-up before 1 year and were later contacted by telephone. %EWL and %TWL were compared to determine the possible relationship between type of surgery and regularity of the follow-up. Results A total of 385 patients were included. A significant difference in EWL was observed at 5 years in the SG group (78% for group 1 versus 39% for group 2;p = 0.02) and GB group (75% for group 1 versus 62% for group 2;p = 0.01). No significant differences between surgeries were found when comparing long-term EWL in group 1 patients 77% for SG versus 75% for GB. For group 2 patients, GB achieved greater EWL than SG;p = 0.005. %TWL patients in group 2 showed significant differences in all periods of study (p < 0.05). Conclusion Bariatric surgery patients who attended all scheduled follow-up appointments experienced significantly greater long-term EWL and TWL than those who did not. GB has apparent increased benefits for weight loss in long-term follow-up when compared with SG for patients who did not attend long-term follow-up. Therefore, continued long-term follow-up of bariatric patients should be encouraged to increase postoperative weight loss results.