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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2007 Mar-Apr;3(2):163-9; discussion 169-70. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

Outcomes among elderly bariatric patients at a high-volume center.

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Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania 17822-2170, USA.



Bariatric surgery in elderly patients remains controversial. With a growing morbidly obese elderly population, management strategies and treatment outcomes need to be evaluated.


We reviewed all bariatric cases from 2001 to 2005 at a single institution. The preoperative factors (body mass index, smoking status, co-morbid conditions, number of medications) and surgical information (operation and length of stay) were recorded. Patients >60 years old who had undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) were followed up, and their surgical outcomes were analyzed (reduction in medications, resolution of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, percentage of excess body weight loss, complications, and mortality).


Of 1065 patients, 76 (7.1%) were aged > or =60 years. Of these 76 patients, 61 (5.7%) underwent RYGB. The other 989 patients (92.9%) were <60 years old, and 952 of these underwent RYGB. In the older group, the mean number of co-morbid conditions was 10 +/- 3.3, 70.5% had diabetes, and 83.6% had hypertension. In the younger group, the mean number of co-morbidities was 4.7 +/- 2.3. The mean number of preoperative medications was 10 +/- 4.5 in the older group compared with 6.0 +/- 4.3 in the younger group. The mean length of stay was 2.9 days in both groups. Postoperatively, medications were reduced by nearly 50% in both groups. Diabetes and hypertension resolved or improved significantly in both groups. The mean percentage of excess body weight loss was lower in the older patients (54.9% versus 60.1%; P = .09). The 90-day operative mortality rate was 1.64% in the older group versus 0.53% for the younger group (P = NS).


Our data support the use of RYGB in older patients in programs prepared to comprehensively manage the medical co-morbidities. Although the percentage of excess body weight loss was less, the mortality was acceptable despite the greater number of co-morbidities. Both diabetes and hypertension were more common in this population, with trends toward better improvement after RYGB than in younger patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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