Navigate Up

Weight Loss Clinical Trials

The Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) is a two-phase study analyzing the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery and its impact on the health and well-being of patients with morbid obesity.

On this page:

Overview of Bariatric Clinical Trials

  • LABS is one of the first National Institutes of Health studies with a focus on bariatric surgery.
  • The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) initiated the LABS study in 2003.
  • Comprised of two phases — LABS-1 and LABS-2 — the study involves several thousand participants.
  • LABS-2 is one of the largest active cohorts of bariatric surgical patients being followed, long-term, in a research study.
  • A corollary study — Teen LABS — is for adolescents who have bariatric surgery.

Who’s involved

Experts in:

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Obesity research
  • Internal medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Behavioral science
  • Other relevant fields

Institutional involvement in this study was on a competitive basis.

Participant clinical centers, in addition to UPMC, include:

  • East Carolina University
  • Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, University of North Dakota
  • New York Columbia-Presbyterian/Cornell University Medical Center
  • Oregon Health and Sciences University
  • University of Washington

The data coordinating center for the entire project is located in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

Back to Top


Objective The first phase, LABS-1, had a short-term focus on the safety of bariatric procedures.

Total: 5,965

  • Nationally: 5,098
  • University of Pittsburgh: 867
Outcome The collected data will result in many publications to help bariatric surgical clinicians provide better care. For example, see the landmark New England Journal of Medicine publication documenting the relative safety of bariatric surgery.

Back to Top


The second phase, LABS-2, began enrolling participants at UPMC on February 27, 2006.


The primary objective is to use standardized techniques and measures to assess the longer-term safety and effectiveness of bariatric surgery by:

  • Comparing post-surgical outcomes to pre-operative status
  • Examining risks and benefits of surgery

Total: 3,063

  • Nationally: 2,501
  • University of Pittsburgh: 562
Outcome LABS-2 is currently granted to follow participants for as long as eight years after their bariatric surgery. We are hopeful that future grants will extend this time.

Back to Top

Teen LABS Corollary Study

Teen LABS — for adolescents who have bariatric surgery — is a multicentered study by the University of Pittsburgh along with:

  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Texas Children’s Hospital at Baylor University
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham

In addition to having the same objectives as LABS-2, Teen LABS will:

  • Determine whether health significantly differs between adolescents and adults seeking bariatric surgery;
  • Identify risks for adolescents undergoing bariatric surgery; and
  • Compare the psychosocial status of adolescents and adults with extreme obesity undergoing surgery.
Participants The recruitment goal is 200 participants. If interested in participating in the Teen LABS study, please call 412-641-3632.
Outcome TBD

Back to Top

Contact Us

Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

To schedule an initial evaluation, please call 412-641-3632 or request to speak with a UPMC Bariatric Surgery representative by filling out this form.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |