• Bariatric surgery;
  • obesity;
  • network meta-analysis


The clinical efficacy and safety of bariatric surgery trials were systematically reviewed. MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL were searched to February 2009. A basic PubCrawler alert was run until March 2010. Trial registries, HTA websites and systematic reviews were searched. Manufacturers were contacted. Randomized trials comparing bariatric surgeries and/or standard care were selected. Evidence-based items potentially indicating risk of bias were assessed. Network meta-analysis was performed using Bayesian techniques. Of 1838 citations, 31 RCTs involving 2619 patients (mean age 30–48 y; mean BMI levels 42–58 kg/m2) met eligibility criteria. As compared with standard care, differences in BMI levels from baseline at year 1 (15 trials; 1103 participants) were as follows: jejunoileal bypass [MD: −11.4 kg/m2], mini-gastric bypass [−11.3 kg/m2], biliopancreatic diversion [−11.2 kg/m2], sleeve gastrectomy [−10.1 kg/m2], Roux-en-Y gastric bypass [−9.0 kg/m2], horizontal gastroplasty [−5.0 kg/m2], vertical banded gastroplasty [−6.4 kg/m2], and adjustable gastric banding [−2.4 kg/m2]. Bariatric surgery appears efficacious compared to standard care in reducing BMI. Weight losses are greatest with diversionary procedures, intermediate with diversionary/restrictive procedures, and lowest with those that are purely restrictive. Compared with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding has lower weight loss efficacy, but also leads to fewer serious adverse effects.