Background: Morbid obesity has reached epidemic proportions in developed nations worldwide, causing considerable mortality and increased healthcare expenditures. The use of gastric bypass surgery to achieve weight loss in morbidly obese patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) and postrenal transplant patients has not been studied adequately.
Methods: Forty-one patients with different stages of CRF (25 already receiving dialysis) underwent a gastric bypass (GBP), and an additional 10 patients underwent a GBP after becoming morbidly obese after transplantation.
Results: Of the 41 patients with CRF, 5 stabilized or resolved their kidney disease and 9 underwent successful transplantation. These patients had a loss of 68% excess body mass index (BMI) by 12 months after GBP. Of the 10 patients with GBP after transplant, the mean loss of excess BMI was 70.5%. There were no in-hospital or 30-day mortalities, but 8 of the 51 patients died from 112 to 2869 days postoperatively, 7 from cardiac or vascular events and 1 from an automobile accident. This compares with an approximate 10% mortality per year for patients receiving dialysis. Comorbid conditions associated with morbid obesity improved in all patients and permitted eligibility for transplantation.
Conclusions: GBP for massive weight reduction in morbidly obese renal failure and transplant patients leads to a reduction in comorbid conditions that are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular deaths. There was no operative mortality in this series, and all but 1 death were related to previously existing disease of the cardiovascular system.