Original article: surgery| Volume 16, ISSUE 7, P894-899, July 2020

Bariatric surgery in the super-super morbidly obese: outcome analysis of patients with BMI >70 using the ACS-NSQIP database



      Bariatric surgery offers patients short- and long-term benefits to their health and quality of life. Currently, we see more patients with superior body mass index (BMI) looking for these benefits. Evidence-based medicine is integral in the evaluation of risks versus benefit; however, data are lacking in this high-risk population.


      To assess the morbidity and mortality of patients with BMI ≥70 undergoing bariatric surgery.


      University Hospital, Bronx, New York, United States using national database.


      Using the American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (ACS-NSQIP) database for years 2005 to 2016, we identified patients who underwent primary laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Patients with BMI ≥70 were assigned to the BMI >70 (BMI70+) cohort and less obese patients were assigned to the BMI <70 (U70) cohort. Length of stay and 30-day morbidity and mortality were compared.


      A total of 163,413 patients underwent non-revisional bariatric surgery. Of those, 2322 had a BMI ≥70. BMI70+ was associated with increased mortality (.4% versus .1%, P = .0001), deep vein thrombosis (.6% versus .3%, P = .007), pulmonary (1.9% versus .5%, P = .0001), renal (.9% versus .2%, P = .0001), and infectious complications (1.1% versus .4%, P = .0001). BMI70+ patients had longer mean length of stay (2.6 versus 2.1 d, P = .0001) and operative time (126.1 versus 114.5 min, P = .0001). There was no statistically significant difference in the number of myocardial infarctions (.1% versus .1%, P = .319), pulmonary embolisms (.3% versus .2%, P = .596), and transfusion requirements (.1% versus .1%, P = .105) between groups.


      Evaluation of risk and benefit is performed on a case-by-case basis, but evidence-based medicine is critical in empowering surgeons and patients to make informed decisions. The overall rate of morbidity and mortality for BMI70+ patients undergoing bariatric surgery was increased over U70 patients but was still relatively low. Our study will allow surgeons to incorporate objective data into their assessment of risk for super-obese patients pursuing bariatric surgery.

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