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Invited Critique
Nov 2011

Bandwagon Forward: Comment on “Safety of Laparoscopic vs Open Bariatric Surgery”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Arch Surg. 2011;146(11):1322. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.266

In the article by Reoch et al1 in this issue of the Archives, the authors have followed strict criteria in describing RCTs of laparoscopic vs open bariatric surgery. Their “usable” RCTs require adult patients, at least 12 months' follow-up, a listing of weight loss outcomes and certain potential complications, and publication in the English language. Thereby, more than 2400 articles on outcomes of bariatric surgery have been reduced to 6 studies that meet their RCT criteria. Yet, these 6 had variable and inconsistent reporting methods, so that pooling of weight loss data and risk reporting of certain complications were impossible. Commendably, the RCTs are real comparisons of 2 techniques rather than large observational studies of bariatric surgical experience by a single surgeon or institution.

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