Original article

Surgical Endoscopy And Other Interventional Techniques

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 616-620

First online:

National trends in utilization and outcomes of bariatric surgery

  • T. L. TrusAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Email author 
  • , G. D. PopeAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • , S. R. G. FinlaysonAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



Because of the growing interest in surgery to treat morbid obesity, this study examined changes in the utilization and in-hospital outcomes of bariatric surgery in the United States over a 10-year period.


Data were obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the largest all-payer discharge database in the United States. International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) codes were used to identify all bariatric procedures performed for adults from 1990 to 2000. Population-based rates of surgery for each year were calculated by applying sampling weights and U.S. Census data. Secular trends in annual rates of surgery, changes in patient characteristics, and in-hospital mortality and complications were analyzed.


From 1990 to 2000, the national annual rate of bariatric surgery increased nearly six fold, from 2.4 to 14.1 per 100,000 adults (p = 0.001). There has been more than a ninefold increase in the use of gastric bypass procedures (1.4 to 13.1 per 100,000; p < 0.001). This represents an increase from 55% of all bariatric procedures in 1990 to 93% of such procedures in 2000 (p < 0.001). The rates of in-hospital mortality were low (0.4% overall), but increased slightly over time (0.2% in 1990 to 0.5% in 2000; p = 0.009). There is no significant difference in adjusted mortality for the past 8 years, but a slight rise did occur over the full 10-year period. The rates for reoperation (1.3%) and pulmonary emboli (0.3%) remained stable. The rates for respiratory failure associated with bariatric surgery declined from 7.7% in 1990 to 4.5% in 2000 (p < 0.001). Over this time, the mean length of hospital stay declined from 6.0 to 4.1 days (p < 0.001).


The annual rate of bariatric surgery in the United States increased nearly six fold between 1990 and 2000, with_little change in in-hospital morbidity and mortality. This appears to be driven largely by the increasing popularity of gastric bypass procedures.


Obesity Surgery Epidemiology Trends