Original articles|Articles in Press

The Effect of Marijuana Use on Short Term Outcomes with Bariatric Surgery


      • Marijuana users had significantly higher total mean weight loss reduction.
      • There were no significant differences in complications or resource utilization.
      • There were no significant differences in adjusted rates of comorbidity remission.
      • Users were more likely to be current smokers and score higher on the AUDIT-C.



      Despite increasing marijuana use nationwide, there is limited data on implications of marijuana use on bariatric surgery outcomes.


      We investigated associations between marijuana use and bariatric surgery outcomes.


      Multicenter state-wide study utilizing data from the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative (MBSC), a payer-funded consortium including over 40 hospitals and 80 surgeons performing bariatric surgery statewide.


      We analyzed data from the MBSC clinical registry on patients who underwent a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass between June 2019 - June 2020. Patients were surveyed at baseline and annually on medication use, depression symptoms, and substance use. Regression analysis was performed to compare 30-day and 1-year outcomes between marijuana users and non-users.


      Of 6,879 patients, 574 reported baseline marijuana use and 139 reported use at baseline and 1-year. Marijuana users were more likely to be current smokers (14% vs 8%, p<0.0001), screen positive for alcohol use disorder (20.0% vs 8.4%, p<0.0001), and score higher on the PHQ-8 (6.1 vs. 3.0, p<0.0001). There were no statistically significant differences in 30-day outcomes, or comorbidity remission at 1 year. Marijuana users had higher adjusted total mean weight loss (105 lbs vs 84 lbs p<0.0001) and body mass index reduction (17 kg/m2 vs. 14 kg/m2, p<0.0001).


      Marijuana use is not associated with worse 30-day outcomes or 1-year weight loss outcomes and should not be a barrier to bariatric surgery. However, marijuana use is associated with higher rates of smoking, substance use, and depression. These patients may benefit from additional mental health and substance abuse counseling.


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