Conference Coverage

Bariatric revision mortality linked to age, comorbidities



Mortality after revisional bariatric procedures remains rare but may be more common than the literature suggests, and appears to be rising in recent years, according to two studies presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week®.

Violeta B. Popov, MD, of New York University, and a team of researchers used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to look at mortality risk, costs, and risk factors for complications in revisional bariatric procedures.

In one presentation, Dr. Popov noted that revision after bariatric surgery occurred in approximately 8% of cases for a variety of reasons including lap band adjustment, weight regain, gastric reflux problems, and rarely, because of staple-line leaks. Referring to findings based on the Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database (BOLD), Dr. Popov said that mortality after primary bariatric surgery is estimated at around 0.2% and revisional procedures carry nearly the same low level of mortality risk. BOLD was developed by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and reflects outcomes from certified Bariatric Centers of Excellence from 2007 to 2012. However, Dr. Popov noted, the outcomes derived from BOLD may well be better than those from noncertified centers (Gastrointest Surg. 2015 Jan;19[1]:171-8).

Dr. Popov reported that the number of revisional procedures has doubled over recent years, from 6% of all bariatric procedures in 2011 to 13% in 2015. The reasons behind the increase could be related to the number of patients switching to a different bariatric approach, the removal of lap bands, and possibly the increase in the number of primary bariatric surgeries performed by less-skilled operators, Dr. Popov said.

The investigators aimed to determine the mortality trends for these procedures in addition to evaluating costs and risk factors for complications. They conducted a retrospective cohort study using the 2014 NIS, comprising 14,280 patients who underwent revisional bariatric surgery. The primary outcome was postoperative in-hospital mortality, with secondary outcomes of cost, length of hospital stay (LOS), and ICU stay. The variables included a variety of comorbidities, alcohol use, smoking, income, and insurance status.

The mean age of this sample was 68 years and 58.8% were female. Outcomes for revisional bariatric surgery were worse in several categories than were found in the BOLD study in terms of LOS, costs, and mortality, and postoperative in-hospital mortality was unexpectedly high at 2.1% (290 patients). A total of 3.3% of the patients had an ICU stay, one-quarter of whom died.

On univariate analysis, comorbidities (age, coagulopathy, chronic kidney disease, anemia, and chronic heart failure) and the combined number of chronic conditions were all significant predictors of mortality. Multivariate analysis identified age (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.20; P less than .001), alcohol use (OR, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.3-11.7; P = .01), coagulopathy (OR, 5.4; 95% CI, 2.2-13.3; P less than .001), and insurance status (Medicaid vs. private; OR, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.7-9.9; P = .002) as the most significant predictors of mortality after a revisional bariatric procedure.


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