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Hemorrhagic and Thromboembolic Complications after Bariatric Surgery in Patients Receiving Chronic Anticoagulation Therapy



Perioperative management of bariatric surgical patients receiving chronic anticoagulation requires an understanding of potential hemorrhagic and thromboembolic risks. The aim of this study is to evaluate hemorrhagic and thromboembolic complications in morbidly obese patients who are on oral anticoagulation treatment and subsequently undergo laparoscopic bariatric surgery.


The medical records of all laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) patients from June 2001 to March 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. In addition, data of patients who received chronic anticoagulation therapy with Coumadin and underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass was analyzed. Clinical parameters included length of hospitalization, hemorrhagic complications, thromboembolic complications, conversion rate, reoperation, and blood transfusion.


During the study period, 1,700 consecutive patients underwent bariatric surgery for the treatment of morbid obesity. Of these, 21 patients were treated with chronic oral anticoagulation; 3 of the 21 (14%) had hemorrhagic complications: one patient had intraluminal hemorrhage and two patients had intraabdominal hemorrhage. Two patients required blood transfusion, and one patient underwent surgical reintervention. None of the 21 laparoscopic operations were converted to open procedures. There were no postoperative mortalities, and there were no thromboembolic events in this series.


Laparoscopic bariatric surgery can be performed relatively safely in morbidly obese patients who are treated with chronic oral anticoagulation. Even in the presence of bleeding, patients can be successfully treated without the need for reoperation.

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Correspondence to Raul J. Rosenthal.

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Mourelo, R., Kaidar-Person, O., Fajnwaks, P. et al. Hemorrhagic and Thromboembolic Complications after Bariatric Surgery in Patients Receiving Chronic Anticoagulation Therapy. OBES SURG 18, 167–170 (2008).

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