While McBride believes that the lead researchers did the best they could based upon the limited database of gastric bypass operations in the United States, she believes that results from the McGill study are more relevant when counseling obese patients as to whether they should undergo bariatric surgery.
Other researchers agreed that, for patients who need it, gastric bypass surgery is beneficial.
"Most recently, studies this year in the New England Journal of Medicine also proved survival advantage to weight-loss surgery," Jones said.
Still, those who are morbidly obese shouldn't look to gastric bypass as a cure-all.
As McBride pointed out, previous studies show that bariatric surgery lowers the mortality rate. "We do not know if it will reverse years of being obese.
"Surgery can lower their weight and impact their health positively from here on out but can't reverse years of damage," she said. "We don't have evidence that surgery reverses years of damage."
And doctors agreed that no matter how effective an operation like gastric bypass may be, what happens after the patient leaves the operating room is equally important.