Mortality rates after laparoscopic bariatric surgery 'low'

Reuters Health Information: Mortality rates after laparoscopic bariatric surgery 'low'

Mortality rates after laparoscopic bariatric surgery 'low'

Last Updated: 2018-04-02

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The one-year mortality rates after laparoscopic bariatric surgery are lower than a quarter of one percent, a new study using 2008-2012 data shows.

"Nowadays, bariatric surgery is very safe," Dr. Ninh Nguyen of the University of California Irvine Medical Center told Reuters Health by phone. While 30-day mortality rates had shown surgery getting safer, he added, "we were able to look at one year out, which is a pretty good marker of the safety of an operation."

Previously, Dr. Nguyen and his colleagues found that in-hospital bariatric surgery mortality fell from 0.4% in 2002 to 0.06% in 2009.

In the new study, online March 16 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, he and his colleagues analyzed data on more than 158,000 operations included in the 2008-2012 Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database (BOLD); 81% of surgeries were laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB), while 19% were laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG).

For LRYGB, 30-day mortality was 0.13% and one-year mortality was 0.23%. For LSG, the rates were 0.06% and 0.11%, respectively. Risk factors for one-year mortality included older age, higher BMI and leak, pulmonary embolism or hemorrhage at 30 days.

The BOLD database only includes accredited bariatric surgery centers, which represent about 90% of the total number, Dr. Nguyen said, so safety might not be as good at unaccredited centers. Medicare had originally mandated that patients undergo bariatric surgery at centers with accreditation, he noted, but reversed the recommendation with the goal of improving patient access.


J Am Coll Surg 2018.

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