Clinical significance of diabetes control before metabolic surgery


      • Is there an association between poor preoperative diabetes control with worse postoperative outcomes (serious complications, infectious complications, prolonged length of stay, reoperation, and readmission) in patients with obesity and diabetes undergoing metabolic surgery?
      • This retrospective cohort study of 26,674 patients did not demonstrate any association between higher preoperative glycated hemoglobin and worsening of five primary outcomes of interest after sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass.
      • Suboptimal preoperative diabetes control is not associated with increased postoperative adverse events and should not delay metabolic surgery.



      Even though observational studies have suggested that poor preoperative diabetes control increases risk after major abdominal surgery, it is unclear whether this effect is seen in metabolic surgery patients.


      To determine whether poor preoperative diabetes control is associated with worse outcomes in patients with obesity and diabetes undergoing metabolic surgery.


      Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Quality Improvement Project (MBSAQIP) database.


      Using the MBSAQIP 2017 and 2018 database and preoperative glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) as a diabetes control surrogate, we examined the association between diabetes control and major outcomes of primary laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SG) or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) in patients with diabetes and obesity. Multivariate logistic regression modeling examined five 30-day postoperative outcomes: composite serious complications (composite of 10 adverse events), composite infection (composite of 7 infectious complications), length of stay >5 days, reoperation, and readmission. Models were adjusted for multiple covariates.


      In total, 26,674 patients with HbA1C data available within 30 days before metabolic surgery were included in the primary analysis and 35,884 patients with HbA1C data within 90 days before surgery were included in the sensitivity analysis. The mean body mass index (BMI) and preoperative HbA1C were 45.6 ± 8.2 kg/m2 and 8.2 ± 2.7%, respectively. The incidence of 30-day postoperative infections and serious complications were 1.62% and 1.35%, respectively. Neither primary analysis nor sensitivity analysis demonstrated any association between higher HbA1C and worsening of 5 primary outcomes of interest. The odds ratio of an overall effect for SG was 1.01 (95% CI .98–1.03; P = .58) and for RYGB was .99 (95% CI .96–1.02; P = .41).


      Suboptimal preoperative diabetes control is not associated with increased adverse events and should not delay metabolic surgery, as metabolic surgery is generally a safe procedure and intrinsically improves diabetes control.

      Graphical abstract

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