CHICAGO (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) in diabetic patients has comparable short-term morbidity and mortality with other common surgical procedures and may circumvent the need for many of them, a NSQIP database analysis shows.

Thirty-day mortality for LRYGB was 3 per 1,000 patients, or approximately one-tenth that of coronary artery bypass graft (0.3% vs. 2.8%).

“This is significant to us moving forward from the point of meeting patients earlier on in their life and approaching the idea of bariatric surgery because the earlier intervention of bariatric surgery, which may have the chance of curing their diabetes, may eliminate the need for higher-risk procedures such as a cardiac bypass down the road,” study author Dr. Matthew Davis said at the American College of Surgeons/National Surgical Quality Improvement Program National Conference.

Similarly, total knee arthroplasty had a complication rate nearly five times that of LRYGB (16.7% vs. 3.4%) and comparable mortality (both 0.3%).

“Being that morbid obesity, or obesity in general, is a significant risk factor for osteoarthritis, which is the number-one indication for total knee [arthroplasty], again, we can potentially perform one surgery to eliminate the need for a further surgery that does show to have a higher complication rate,” he said.

Five randomized controlled trials have shown the remarkable effects of bariatric surgery on type 2 diabetes mellitus, including better glycemic control, cardiovascular risk factor modification, and the potential for long-term remission. The safety profile of metabolic diabetes surgery, however, has been a matter of concern among patients and physicians, said Dr. Davis of the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

To explore short-term metabolic diabetes surgery outcomes, the investigators used the American College of Surgeons’ NSQIP dataset to identify 16,509 diabetic patients who underwent LRYGB from January 2007 to December 2012 and compare them with patients undergoing seven other common surgical procedures: coronary artery bypass graft (n = 2,868), infrainguinal bypass (n = 10,454), laparoscopic partial colectomy (n = 5,511), laparoscopic cholecystectomy (n = 15,306), laparoscopic appendectomy (n = 4,537), laparoscopic hysterectomy (n = 2,309), and total knee arthroplasty (n = 9,184).

Patients undergoing open or revisional bariatric surgery were excluded. Also excluded were sleeve gastrectomy cases because data were not available for the entire study period and gastric banding because its effect on diabetes is not as significant as gastric bypass, he said.

One-third (37.4%) of patients used insulin, 79% had hypertension, and 71.5% were women. The average body mass index was 46.5 kg/m2, and the average age was 50 years.

The 30-day composite complication rate was defined as the presence of any of nine postoperative adverse events: stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, acute renal failure, septic shock, deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia, sepsis, and need for transfusion.

The most frequent adverse event with LRYGB was need for transfusion, which occurred in 1.22% of patients, Dr. Davis said. Rates for the other eight complications in ascending order were: stroke (0.05%), MI (0.16%), pulmonary embolism (0.22%), acute renal failure (0.22%), septic shock (0.30%), deep vein thrombosis (0.36%), pneumonia (0.66%), and sepsis (0.81%).

The 30-day complication rate for LRYGB was comparable with that for laparoscopic cholecystectomy (3.7%) and laparoscopic hysterectomy. Complication rates were significantly higher, however, for CABG (46.6%), infrainguinal bypass (23.6%), laparoscopic partial colectomy (12%), laparoscopic appendectomy (4.5%), and total knee arthroplasty (16.7%), according to Dr. Davis.

Among LRYGB patients, the mean length of stay was 2.6 days, and 6.7% were readmitted, 2.5% underwent reoperation, and 0.3% died.

In contrast, the average length of stay was 6 days for laparoscopic partial colectomy, with readmission, reoperation, and mortality rates of 9.4%, 3.8%, and 1.8%, respectively.

“Compared with laparoscopic colectomy, gastric bypass superseded in all categories with morbidity and mortality,” he said.

Limitations of the study were the lack of information on sleeve gastrectomy and long-term safety outcomes, and nonsimilar baseline characteristics for comparator groups.

Session comoderator Dr. Konstantin Umanskiy of the University of Chicago said that the results highlight the dramatic improvements achieved in bariatric surgery through centers of excellence and could serve to invigorate efforts to bring this model to colorectal surgery. An initiative by the 144-member Consortium for Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRICH) to establish a U.S. Rectal Cancer Centers of Excellence program was endorsed last year by the American College of Surgeons and the Commission on Cancer.

The investigators and Dr. Umanskiy reported having no conflicts of interest.


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