Locals are to benefit from a better understanding of bariatric surgery procedures and the most effective thanks to a new study underway at Heartlands Hospital.
With obesity levels in the UK having almost trebled in the last 30 years despite a general better understanding of the underlying causes of the condition, the By-Band-Sleeve study hopes to address some of these issues.
Current national guidelines recommend that surgery is considered for people with severe and complex obesity. This surgery is known as bariatric surgery. Three of the most common types of bariatric surgery operations are: the adjustable gastric band (‘Band’), the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (‘Bypass’), and the gastric sleeve (‘Sleeve’).
At the moment, health professionals do not know which of these three operations is the most effective for long-term weight loss and improvement of health problems and quality of life. Choice of surgery is based on a combination of clinical opinion and patient choice.
Consultant bariatric & upper GI surgeon, Mr Rishi Singhal, principal Investigator for the study at Heartlands, believes this way of working needs to change: “We need to give advice to patients based on clinical evidence, not personal opinion. We need to know which operation is most effective and who it’s most effective for. Based on that information, we can make informed decisions about which type of surgery to recommend, safe in the knowledge it is the most cost effective choice for the NHS.”
Dr Jeremy Kirk, clinical director of the Clinical Research Network: West Midlands said: “People need more options. Clinical research will play a vital role in developing better and more cost effective treatments for people who are obese. Crucially, it also looks at the reasons for weight gain, which can help us address long-term solutions for the causes and development of the condition.”
The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and co-ordinated from the Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit at the University of Bristol.
To find out more about the clinical research into obesity being supported by the National Institute for Health research, visit www.crn.nihr.ac.uk/bigchallenge
To find out more about the By-Band-Sleeve study, visit: http://www.by-band.bristol.ac.uk/home/
NOTES TO EDITORS
- About the By-Band-Sleeve study
The By-Band-Sleeve Study is currently running at eleven hospitals: Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, St James University Hospital, Leeds, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, University Hospital Southampton, Homerton Hospital, London and St Mary’s Hospital Imperial College, London.
Adults who are referred for bariatric surgery at any of these hospitals can take part in the study. Patients are given some information to read about the study and the chance to discuss it with the health professionals on the team. Those who agree to take part will have an equal chance of being assigned a gastric band, a gastric bypass, or a gastric sleeve. This allows the three types of operations to be compared in a balanced way. Participants will be told which operation they have been assigned to several weeks before their actual operation date. It is planned that 1341 patients will take part in the study in total.
After surgery, participants will be followed up carefully, including regular weight checks. They will be asked to complete questionnaires about their quality of life and use of healthcare. Some participants will also be interviewed about their experience. Researchers will also ask participants to provide two blood samples for future research into obesity, in addition to the samples people would give as part of their normal care. All participants will be followed up by the study team for three years.
The study is coordinated from the Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit at the University of Bristol and involves a team of experts, including researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Birmingham and Oxford, and health professionals from each of the study hospitals.
The study started in 2012 and will run for approximately eight years, until the final patient has completed follow-up.
The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (ref: 09/127/53). Any views or opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HTA programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.