, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 93-101

Comparison of Early and Late Complications after Various Bariatric Procedures: Incidence and Treatment During 15 Years at a Single Institution

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Bariatric procedures are effective in the life-long treatment of clinically severe obesity, but they are technically demanding and have known complications. The present study presents mortality and morbidity with different procedures from the prospective 15-year bariatric database of the University Hospital of Patras in Greece.


From June 1994 through December 2008, 1,162 morbidly obese patients underwent various bariatric procedures at our institution (35 vertical banded gastroplasties, 151 laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomies, 90 open and 137 laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses, 699 biliopancreatic diversions with long limbs, and 50 reoperations). Postoperative metabolic deficiencies and causes of early and late morbidity for various bariatric procedures were compared by using the z-test for the comparison of proportions. Logistic regression analysis was used to model the occurrence of early and late death and complications.


Total mortality was 1.81% (early 0.6%, intermediate 0.26%, late 0.95%). No significant predictors for early death were found, but age (odds ratio (OR), 1.077; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.024–1.133; P = 0.004) and BMI (OR, 1.156; 95% CI, 1.023–1.306; P = 0.02) were predictors for late death. Early and late morbidity were 8% and 27.71%, respectively. The total leakage incidence was 1.98% and was significantly higher (P < 0.05) after reoperation. Fifteen of the 23 leaks were successfully treated conservatively. Most late complications were incisional hernias (18.85%)—almost all after open procedures. Hypoalbuminemia incidence was significantly higher after biliopancreatic diversion with long limbs (3.58%) and reoperation (8%).


Bariatric procedures, even in specialized centers, may have serious complications because of their technical complexity in a high-risk population. Almost all can be managed successfully.