Outcomes of inflammatory bowel disease surgery in obese versus non-obese patients: a meta-analysis

Hicks G1, Abdulaal A2, Slesser AAP2, Mohsen Y2. Tech Coloproctol. 2019 Sep 17. doi: 10.1007/s10151-019-02080-0. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Pield Heath Rd, Uxbridge, UB8 3NN, UK. georginahicks@doctors.org.uk.

Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Pield Heath Rd, Uxbridge, UB8 3NN, UK.


BACKGROUND: Obesity is considered a risk factor for many chronic diseases and obese patients are often considered higher risk surgical candidates. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the outcomes of obese (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) versus non-obese patients undergoing surgery for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

METHODS: PubMed, Scopus, and Embase libraries were searched up to March 2019 for studies comparing outcomes of obese with non-obese patients undergoing surgery for IBD. A meta-analysis was conducted using Review Manager software to create forest plots and calculate odds ratios and mean differences.

RESULTS: Four thousand three hundred and eleven patients from five observational studies were included. Obese patients were older at the time of surgery and more likely to have diabetes. Obese patients had longer operative times (MD 23.28, 95% CI 14.63-31.93, p < 0.001), higher intra-operative blood loss (MD 45.32, 95% CI 5.89-84.76, p = 0.02), longer length of stay (MD 0.90, 95% CI 0.60-1.20, p < 0.001), higher wound infection rates (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.39-2.23, p < 0.001), and higher total postoperative complication rates (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.04-1.70, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity is associated with significantly worse outcomes following IBD-specific surgery, including longer operative times, greater blood loss, longer length of stay, higher wound infection rates, and higher total postoperative complication rates. Clinicians should be mindful of these increased risks when counselling patients and consider weight reduction strategies where possible.

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