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Weighing The Options, Which Weight Loss Procedure Is Best?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)--An estimated 220,000 Americans have weight loss surgery every year. That's double the number of a decade ago. There are two common types of procedures, and a new study has found that one may be more effective.

Many obese patients choose gastric banding surgery for weight loss. It is a simpler operation than gastric bypass surgery .

But a new study of the two popular procedures shows that gastric bypass patients lose weight more quickly and keep it off longer.

Bypass surgery can be more risky in the short run, but research shows that there are significantly more long-term complications and re-operations after gastric banding.

Vonett Trotman told CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez that she struggled with serious weight problems and was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The diagnoses prompted her to undergo a gastric banding procedure.

"I was so heavy, when I went to the doctor, no scale would be able to tell me my weight," she said.

Doctors put an adjustable band around the very top part of her stomach. The band limits the amount that a person can eat. Rotman thought that the band was the safest option, but years later she had to have the band removed.

Trotman wasn't losing any weight and she began to experience chest pains.

Her experience was not unusual.

Nearly half of patients who chose gastric banding were still obese after six years, according to a study in the Archives of Surgery. Patients also had more long-term problems and follow-up operations than those who had gastric bypass surgery.

A gastric bypass involves using staples to create a small stomach pouch to re-route food around a section of the small intestine.

The study found that people who had gastric bypass surgery lost more weight more quickly  and kept it off longer than those who had the band.

Bariatric surgeon Dr. Mitchell Roslin says that there's a reason that bypass patients may have better results. Roslin is the Head of Obesity Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.

"When we actually remove part of the stomach we change the hormones that control hunger and fullness and we change people's relationship with food," he said.

Trotman regrets choosing the gastric band.

"It was a big mistake. It was an experience that I learned from but  it was a big mistake ," she said.

Trotman underwent gastric bypass in the fall and has lost 77lbs, with diet and exercise she plans to lose even more.

The study found that the risk of a deadly complication was somewhat greater with the gastric bypass surgery than with banding, but the researchers concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Have you had a weight loss related procedure? Which did you choose and what prompted your decision? Leave your thoughts in our comments section below...

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