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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2018 Jun;14(6):842-848. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2018.02.025. Epub 2018 Mar 5.

Preoperative immobility significantly impacts the risk of postoperative complications in bariatric surgery patients.

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Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Electronic address:
Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.



Preoperative immobility in general surgery patients has been associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications. It is unknown if immobility affects bariatric surgery outcomes.


The aim of this study was to determine the impact of immobility on 30-day postoperative bariatric surgery outcomes.


This study took place at a university hospital in the United States.


The Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program 2015 data set was queried for primary minimally invasive bariatric procedures. Preoperative immobility was defined as limited ambulation most or all the time. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine if immobile patients are at increased risk (odds ratio [OR]) for 30-day complications.


There were 148,710 primary minimally invasive bariatric procedures in 2015. Immobile patients had an increased risk of mortality (OR 4.59, P<.001) and greater operative times, length of stay, reoperation rates, and readmissions. Immobile patients had a greater risk of multiple complications, including acute renal failure (OR 6.42, P<.001), pulmonary embolism (OR 2.44, P = .01), cardiac arrest (OR 2.81, P = .05), and septic shock (OR 2.78, P = .02). Regardless of procedure type, immobile patients had a higher incidence of perioperative morbidity compared with ambulatory patients.


This study is the first to specifically assess the impact of immobility on 30-day bariatric surgery outcomes. Immobile patients have a significantly increased risk of morbidity and mortality. This study provides an opportunity for the development of multiple quality initiatives to improve the safety and perioperative complication profile for immobile patients undergoing bariatric surgery.


Bariatric surgery; Immobility; Postoperative outcomes

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