Background: While the safety of many bariatric procedures has been previously studied in older patients, we examine the effect of advancing age on medical/surgical complications in laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a relatively unstudied procedure but that is trending upwards in use.
Methods: Patients undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) and laparoscopic gastric bypass (RYGB) were extracted from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program 2005–2012 database. Pre- and postoperative variables were analyzed using chi-square and student t test as appropriate to determine the comparative safety of LSG to RYGB in the elderly. Multivariate regression modeling was used to evaluate whether age is associated with adverse 30-day events following LSG.
Results: Of the patients that met the inclusion criteria, 56,664 (84 %) patients underwent RYGB and 10,835 (16 %) underwent LSG. In the LSG cohort, incidence of overall complications, medical complications, and death significantly increased with increasing age (p < 0.05). No statistically significant differences in rates of 30-day complications, return to the OR, and mortality exist between RYGB and LSG cohorts in patients older than 65 years. The age group of over 65 years independently predicted increased risk for overall and medical complications (OR, 1.748; OR, 2.027). Notably, age was not significantly associated with surgical complications in LSG.
Conclusion: In this large, multi-institutional study, advanced age was significantly associated with overall and medical complications but not surgical complications in LSG. Our findings suggest that the risk conferred by advancing age in LSG is predominantly for medical morbidity and advocate for improved perioperative management of medical complications. LSG may be the preferable option to RYGB for elderly patients as neither procedure is riskier with regards to 30-day morbidity while LSG has been shown to be safer with regards to long-term reoperation and readmission risk.
- Bariatric surgery
- Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics