: Laparoscopic gastric banding and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass are widely used for the treatment of morbid obesity. The impact of these two procedures on health-related quality of life has not been analyzed in comparative studies. METHODS: A matched-pair analysis of a prospectively collected database was performed. Fifty-two consecutive patients with laparoscopic gastric bypass were randomly matched to fifty-two patients with laparoscopic gastric banding according to age, BMI, and gender. Quality of life was assessed using two standardized questionnaires (SF 36 and Moorehead-Ardelt II). RESULTS: Mean preoperative BMI was 45.7 kg/m(2) for the bypass patients and 45.3 kg/m(2) for the banding patients. Mean BMI after 3 years follow-up of was 30.4 kg/m(2) and 33.1 kg/m(2) (p = 0.036). In the SF 36 questionnaire, gastric bypass patients yielded a mean total score of 613 versus 607 points in the gastric banding group (p = 0.543), which is comparable to the normal population in Europe. In the Moorhead-Ardelt II questionnaire, the gastric bypass patients scored a mean total of 1.35 points and the gastric banding patients 1.28 points (p = 0.747). Of the patients, 97% with a gastric bypass and 83% with a gastric banding were satisfied with the result of the operation (p = 0.145). CONCLUSION: The patients after laparoscopic gastric bypass and laparoscopic gastric banding have a high level of satisfaction 3 years after the operation and have similar quality of life scores compared to the normal population. Quality of life indexes were not different between the two procedures and were independent of weight loss in successfully operated patients.