Clinical Trials for Bariatric Surgery

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.

What are clinical trials and are they right for you?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease in people of all ages. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Find out more about clinical trials.

Watch a video of NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers explaining the importance of participating in clinical trials.

What clinical trials are open?

Clinical trials that are currently open and are recruiting can be viewed at

What is the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery?

From 2003 to 2016, the NIDDK partnered with researchers to create the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery, or LABS. The researchers examined the safety and effectiveness of weight-loss surgery in adults. A separate group of researchers are doing similar research with teens, called Teen-LABS.

LABS found that weight-loss surgery performed by experienced surgeons is relatively safe, leads to large weight loss, and improves many weight-related health problems. Three years after surgery, about half of adult gastric bypass patients had lost at least 90 pounds, or almost one-third of their starting weight. Half of gastric band patients had lost at least 44 pounds, or 16 percent of their starting weight.4

Teens who had gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery had similar results. Three years after surgery, teens lost an average of 27 percent of their starting weight, with improved overall health and quality of life.5


July 2016

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
Anita Courcoulas, M.D., M.P.H, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Walter J. Pories, M.D., F.A.C.S., Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University