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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2013 Sep-Oct;9(5):653-8. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2013.02.013. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is safe and efficacious for pretransplant candidates.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California.



Morbid obesity is a relative contraindication for organ transplant because it is associated with higher postoperative morbidity and mortality. The safety and efficacy of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) as a weight loss method for patients awaiting transplant has not been examined.


A retrospective review was performed on morbidly obese patients awaiting liver or kidney transplant who underwent LSG from 2006 to 2012. Data included patient demographic characteristics, operative details, 30-day complications, percentage of excess weight loss, postoperative laboratory data, and status of transplant candidacy.


Twenty-six pretransplant patients underwent LSG. The mean age was 57 years, and 17 (65%) were women. Six patients had end-stage renal disease, and 20 patients had end-stage liver disease. The preoperative mean body mass index was 48.3 kg/m(2) (range 38-60.4 kg/m(2)). There were no deaths, and there were 6 postoperative complications: 2 superficial wound infections, 1 staple line leak, 1 postoperative bleed requiring blood transfusion, 1 transient encephalopathy, and 1 temporary renal insufficiency. The mean percentage of excess weight loss at 1, 3, and 12 months was 17% (n = 24/26), 26% (n = 23/26), and 50% (n = 18/20), respectively. All patients met our institution's body mass index cutoffs for transplantation by 12 months after the procedure. One patient's renal function stabilized, and he was taken off the transplant list. Eight patients eventually underwent solid organ transplant. Six received liver transplants, 1 patient received a combined liver and kidney transplant, and 1 received a kidney transplant. The mean time between LSG and transplant was 16.6 months.


This is the largest case series involving LSG in patients awaiting solid organ transplantation. LSG is well tolerated, is technically feasible, and improves candidacy for transplantation.


Bariatric surgery; Sleeve gastrectomy; Transplant surgery

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