Obesity Surgery

, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 2025–2030 | Cite as

Acute Pancreatitis in Patients After Bariatric Surgery: Incidence, Outcomes, and Risk Factors

  • Arthi Kumaravel
  • Andrea Zelisko
  • Philip Schauer
  • Rocio Lopez
  • Matthew KrohEmail author
  • Tyler Stevens
Original Contributions



The incidence of acute pancreatitis (AP) in bariatric surgery patients is not known. Ouraim was to determine the incidence, outcomes, and risk factors of AP in post-bariatric surgery patients.


An historical cohort study was conducted of all patients who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric banding, and revisional procedures at our institution from January 2004 to September 2011. Patients who developed AP were identified by review of the electronic medical record. A nested case-control study using Cox regression analysis was done to identify risk factors.


A total of 2695 patients underwent bariatric surgery. Twenty-eight patients (1.04 %) developed AP during a median follow-up of 3.5 years (interquartile range [IQR] 1.9–5.8). One patient had severe AP, and there was one AP-related death. In the case-control study, the only baseline variable that predicted post-operative AP was a prior history of AP. Three other variables identified after surgery were associated with AP: (1) rapid weight loss as measured by percent of excess weight loss (EWL) at the first post-operative visit, (2) abnormal findings on post-operative ultrasound (stones, sludge or ductal dilation), and (3) post-operative complications of bowel leak or anastomotic stricture.


The incidence of AP in this cohort is 1.04 %, which is higher than that reported for the general population (~17/100,000, 0.017 %). Most cases were clinically mild and managed conservatively with good outcomes. Rapid post-operative weight loss and the presence of gallstones or sludge on post-operative ultrasound were significant risk factors for AP.


Acute pancreatitis Bariatric surgery Incidence Outcomes Risk factors 



Acute pancreatitis


Bedside index of severity of AP


Body mass index


Common bile duct


Computed tomography


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography


Excess weight loss


Liver function test


National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction




Conflict of Interest

Arthi Kumaravel — no conflict of interest. Andrea Zelisko — no conflict of interest. Philip Schauer — personal fees from Ethicon, personal fees from Lilly, personal fees from Nestle, other from Stryker, other from Surgiquest, other from Barosense, other from RemedyMD, personal fees and other from Physicians Review of Surgery, LLC, personal fees and other from Quadrant Healthcare, LLC, other from SE healthcare quality Consulting, other from Springer Publishing Company, grants from Ethicon, grants from National Institues of Health, outside the submitted work; In addition, Dr. Schauer has a patent Medical devices for weight loss pending. Rocio Lopez — no conflict of interest. Matthew Kroh — mo conflict of interest. Tyler Stevens — personal fees from Abbvie and Boston Scientific outside the submitted work.

Author Contributions

Arthi Kumaravel — study concept and design; data acquisition; interpretation of data; drafting of manuscript.

Andrea Zelisko — study concept and design; data acquisition; interpretation of data.

Philip Schauer — interpretation of data; critical revision of manuscript for intellectual content.

Rocio Lopez — study concept and design; analysis; drafting of manuscript.

Matthew Kroh — study concept and design; interpretation of data; critical revision of manuscript for intellectual content.

Tyler Stevens — study concept and design; interpretation of data; critical revision of manuscript for intellectual content.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthi Kumaravel
    • 1
  • Andrea Zelisko
    • 2
  • Philip Schauer
    • 3
  • Rocio Lopez
    • 4
  • Matthew Kroh
    • 5
    Email author
  • Tyler Stevens
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, A31Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Bariatric and Metabolic InstituteCleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, M61Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Quantitative Health SciencesCleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  5. 5.Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, A100Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  6. 6.Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Q3Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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