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Perioperative risk and complications of revisional bariatric surgery compared to primary Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

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Growing number of patients requires revisional bariatric surgery. This study compares perioperative course and outcomes of revisional versus primary bariatric surgery.


Patients who underwent revisional bariatric surgery from Jan 1997 to Sept 2012 were reviewed retrospectively. Every revisional patient with BMI >35 and age <70 was matched with a primary Roux-en-Y gastric bypass control patient based on preoperative BMI, age, sex, and year of surgery. Patients’ preoperative indications, intraoperative/postoperative course, and complications were analyzed.


Two hundred and fifty five patients underwent revisional bariatric surgery with resulting Roux-en-Y gastric bypass anatomy while 1,674 patients underwent primary gastric bypass in the same time interval. Of 255 patients, 172 patients were paired with 172 primary gastric bypass patients. Revisional bariatric group had preoperative BMI 48 ± 9, age 52 ± 9 years, 93 % female, 44 % laparoscopic, 30 % diabetic, 60 % hypertensive. Primary bypass patients had preoperative BMI 49 ± 8, age 52 ± 9 years, 93 % female, 97 % laparoscopic, 49 % diabetic, 67 % hypertensive. Compared to primary bypass patients, revisional patients had significantly higher estimated blood loss (463.7 vs. 113.3 mL), longer operative time (272.5 vs. 175.5 min), greater risk for ICU stay (N = 24, 14 % vs. N = 2, 1 %), and longer hospital stay (5.6 vs. 2.5 days). There were significantly more intraoperative liver (N = 13, 8 % vs. N = 1, 1 %) and spleen (N = 18, 10 % vs. N = 0) injuries, and more enterotomies (N = 9, 5 % vs. N = 0) in the revisional group. There were also significantly more postoperative complications (N = 94, 55 % vs. N = 48, 28 %), readmissions (N = 27, 16 % vs. N = 12, 7 %), and reoperations (N = 16, 9 % vs. N = 3, 2 %) within 30 days of surgery. Mean percentage weight loss at 1 year was significantly less for revisional patients (27 vs. 37 %). There was no significant difference in 30 day mortality between the two groups (N = 6 vs. 0).


Even in experienced hands, complex revisional bariatric surgery should be approached with significant caution, especially given that weight loss is less substantial.

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Drs Linda Zhang, Wen Hui Tan, Ronald Chang, and J. Chris Eagon have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Zhang, L., Tan, W.H., Chang, R. et al. Perioperative risk and complications of revisional bariatric surgery compared to primary Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Surg Endosc 29, 1316–1320 (2015).

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