Unlike previously suspected, reoperative bariatric surgery appears to be substantially safer, provides fewer complications than anticipated, has a low major morbidity and mortality rate, and above all appears to be affective at providing exceptional weight loss at just 1 year after the surgery.
Proof is in the Numbers
Not only is the process of a second surgery showing to be much safer than originally suspected, but it also seems to be exceptionally affective. Most patients that have the surgery find a significant weight loss within the first year after the surgery. The data from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery also indicates that the individuals that have the surgery have an excellent resolution rate for comorbidities. The numbers show that the reoperative surgery is neck-in-neck with the primary bariatric surgery when it comes to resolving comorbidities such as diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, sleep apnea, hypertension and dysliidemia.
Dr. Suda from Duke University looked at the data and recommends that the data be reviewed by the insurance companies to better understand how helpful the reoperative bariatric surgery can be for patients. Many insurance companies do not cover the reoperative bariatric surgery making it impossible for patients to get the help they are looking for.
About the Studies
The studies utilized 451,485 bariatric surgery operations in determining the results. These procedures where performed by 1,029 surgeons at the 709 participating hospitals in the United States. These studies were focused on 6.3% of the surgeries that were considered reoperations. Corrective operations accounted for 70% of the procedures and 30% of the procedures where to convert a patient procedure from gastric band to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve procedures.
Some of the numbers prove to be excellent with relations to adverse effects, problems and surgery related issues. Only 1.66% of the procedures had complications such as leaks, pulmonary embolism and bleeding. This number is comparatively extremely similar to a primary surgery figure of 1.61%.
The mortality rate for patients undergoing reoperative bariatric surgery was .14% as compared to the .10% of those patients having a first surgery. These numbers show that the reoperative surgery is no more dangerous or risky for patients than an original procedure. This differs from previous opinions and could dramatically change how patients, doctors and insurance companies look at the reoperative option.
Another noteworthy figure includes the numbers you see in success with the reoperative bariatric surgery. Patients followed after 1 year of the surgery where found to have an average weight loss of 36%. This number is comparatively similar to that of patients undergoing their first surgery for weight loss. It shows that the surgery can be extremely beneficial for the appropriate candidates and should be considered as a viable option instead of a last resort.
From a surgical standpoint the reoperative bariatric surgery offers surgeons something to provide to patients that have had some success with first surgeries, but need to find additional weight loss in order to make the goal weight and get back on track with a new healthy lifestyle. Of course these patients must follow the same guidelines as first surgery patients and be willing to continue to make major lifestyle changes, approach food in a healthier way, learn more about nutrition and find a balance of health exercise in their lives.