Research Papers: Pathology:

The comprehensive summary of surgical versus non-surgical treatment for obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Ji Cheng, Jinbo Gao, Xiaoming Shuai, Guobin Wang and Kaixiong Tao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:39216-39230. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9581

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Ji Cheng1, Jinbo Gao1, Xiaoming Shuai1, Guobin Wang1 and Kaixiong Tao1

1 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China

Correspondence to:

Kaixiong Tao, email:

Keywords: obesity; bariatric surgery; meta-analysis; systematic review; Pathology Section

Received: April 16, 2016 Accepted: May 20, 2016 Published: May 24, 2016


Background: Bariatric surgery has emerged as a competitive strategy for obese patients. However, its comparative efficacy against non-surgical treatments remains ill-defined, especially among nonseverely obese crowds. Therefore, we implemented a systematic review and meta-analysis in order for an academic addition to current literatures.

Methods: Literatures were retrieved from databases of PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE and Cochrane Library. Randomized trials comparing surgical with non-surgical therapies for obesity were included. A Revised Jadad’s Scale and Risk of Bias Summary were employed for methodological assessment. Subgroups analysis, sensitivity analysis and publication bias assessment were respectively performed in order to find out the source of heterogeneity, detect the outcome stability and potential publication bias.

Results: 25 randomized trials were eligibly included, totally comprising of 1194 participants. Both groups displayed well comparability concerning baseline parameters (P > 0.05). The pooled results of primary endpoints (weight loss and diabetic remission) revealed a significant advantage among surgical patients rather than those receiving non-surgical treatments (P < 0.05). Furthermore, except for certain cardiovascular indicators, bariatric surgery was superior to conventional arms in terms of metabolic secondary parameters (P < 0.05). Additionally, the pooled outcomes were confirmed to be stable by sensitivity analysis. Although Egger’s test (P < 0.01) and Begg’s test (P<0.05) had reported the presence of publication bias among included studies, “Trim-and-Fill” method verified that the pooled outcomes remained stable.

Conclusion: Bariatric surgery is a better therapeutic option for weight loss, irrespective of follow-up duration, surgical techniques and obesity levels.

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