, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 414-419

Outcome Following Bariatric Surgery in Super versus Morbidly Obese Patients: Does Weight Matter?

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Background: Numerous investigators have attempted to identify prognostic indicators for successful outcome following bariatric surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine whether degree of obesity affects outcome in super obese [>225% ideal body weight (IBW)] versus morbidly obese patients (160-225% IBW) undergoing gastric restrictive/bypass procedures. Methods: Since 1984, 157 patients underwent either gastric bypass or vertical banded gastroplasty. Super obese (78) and morbidly obese (79) patients were followed prospectively, documenting outcome and complications. Results: Super obese patients reached maximum weight loss 3 years following bariatric surgery, exhibiting a decrease in body mass index (BMI) from 61 to 39 kg/m2 and an average loss of 42% excess body weight (EBW). Morbidly obese patients had a decrease in BMI from 44 to 31 kg/m2 and carried 39% EBW at 1 year. After their respective nadirs, each group began to regain the lost weight with the super obese exhibiting a current BMI of 45 kg/m2 (61% EBW) versus 34 kg/m2 (52% EBW) in the morbidly obese at 72 months cumulative follow-up. Currently, loss of 50% or more of EBW occurred in 53% of super obese patients versus 72% of morbidly obese (P < 0.01). Twenty-six percent of super obese patients returned to within 50% of ideal body weight (IBW) while 71% of morbidly obese were able to reach this goal (P < 0.01). Co-morbidities and complications related to surgery were similar in each group. Conclusions: Super obese patients have a greater absolute weight loss after bariatric surgery than do morbidly obese patients. Using commonly utilized measures of success based on weight, morbidly obese patients tend to have better outcomes following bariatric surgery.