NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - https://archive.org/web/.
Read Original Story

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Maybe It’s Time For a Different Type of Gastric Surgery

Rating

2 Star

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Maybe It’s Time For a Different Type of Gastric Surgery

Our Review Summary

This story discussed the increased use of gastric banding in individuals who had previously had gastric bypass surgery.  While indicating that there was not a lot of data about the effectiveness or longevity of this approach for aiding in weight loss, the story missed the chance to include information about several aspects that should have been covered.  By featuring anecdotal information about the short term weight loss of several individuals, it overshadowed the fact that there really is not much known about either the short term or long term risks or whether the improvement in appetite control and weight loss were observed long-term. 

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The story provided no information about the cost of gastric banding or how the increased time that may be needed for the procedure when conducted after gastric bypass affected the costs.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story indicated that gastric banding may re-impose limitations on caloric intake that had initially been established with gastric bypass.  While it indicated that good long-term data about the utility of banding after bypass was not available, this was overshadowed by the examples of the weight loss seen in a few individuals it detailed.  

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The story did mention the gastric banding following gastric bypass could be complicated by adhesion of organs to one another resulting from scarring from the first surgery.  And while mentioning that this might result in a longer time needed for the surgery, there was no discussion about what ramifications there might be for the patient or how often this scenario was encountered.  There was no discussion of other complication rates.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

The story mentioned that there were not concrete data on the percentage of individuals who were having a second bariatric procedure for maintaining their weight loss.  But instead of following up on the theme of inadequate information on long term efficacy, the story went on to use anecdotes to detail weight loss that had been achieved without reiterating that not much was known about its permanence either.  The story didn’t discuss the quality of the evidence or its limitations, of which there are many.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story did not engage in overt disease mongering.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Not Satisfactory

Several clinicians were quoted as part of this story indicating that they were seeing an increased number of individuals seeking to have a second weight loss procedure because they felt gastric bypass was not sufficient to enable them to maintain their weight loss.  Beyond this, the story included no expert commenting with concrete information about the risks and benefits associated with this approach to weight control.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

The story failed to provide indications about other surgical and medical options available to assist individuals with weight loss and maintenance following gastric bypass.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story did not give any indication as to whether all bariatric surgeons perform gastric banding after gastric bypass surgery or if it was a select subset.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story indicated that the particular pattern of bariatric surgeries discussed was a relatively new phenomena and that information about long term weight control was not yet available. 

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Does not appear to rely on a press release.

Total Score: 3 of 10 Satisfactory

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.