Factors That Raise Bariatric Surgery Mortality Risk

by Megan Brooks ,  Medscape | 2011-06-15

June 15, 2011 — After analyzing more than 100,000 patients undergoing bariatric surgery, researchers have identified 6 preoperative risk factors that can help predict in-hospital mortality after the weight-loss surgery.

The 6 risk factors are the type of weight-loss surgery (gastric bypass or gastric band), the surgical technique (open or laparoscopic), the sex and age of the patient, the type of insurance (private or Medicare), and the presence of type 2 diabetes.

"This is important information, not just for the surgeon, but also for the patient to be able to understand what they are getting themselves into and decide whether to have the operation or not," Ninh T. Nguyen, MD, chief of the division of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, noted in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

"With this information, maybe physicians can use some risk reduction strategies to minimize the risk of mortality," Dr. Nguyen said. He presented the findings at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) 28th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.