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Bariatric Surgery Seen as Generally Safe and Effective in Meta-Analysis — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 19, 2013

Bariatric Surgery Seen as Generally Safe and Effective in Meta-Analysis

By Amy Orciari Herman

An updated meta-analysis in JAMA Surgery may offer reassurance on the safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery.

Some 160 studies involving over 160,000 patients (mean BMI before surgery, 45.6) published between 2003 and 2012 were included. Among the findings:

  • Perioperative mortality (within 30 days of surgery) was 0.08%, and postoperative mortality was 0.31%.

  • The complication rate was 17% and the reoperation rate, 7%.

  • At 5 years, patients had lost roughly 12 to 17 BMI units.

  • Adjustable gastric banding had lower mortality and complication rates than gastric bypass, while bypass had lower reoperation rates and greater weight loss.

  • Comorbidities improved with surgery; for example, diabetes remitted in roughly 90% of patients.

The researchers conclude: "Bariatric surgery provides substantial and sustained effects on weight loss and ameliorates obesity-attributable comorbidities in the majority of bariatric patients, although risks of complication, reoperation, and death exist."

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