Objective: To study the spectrum of and risk factors for complications after gastric bypass (GBP).
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: Academic tertiary referral center.
Patients: All morbidly obese patients who underwent open or laparoscopic GBP between January 2003 and December 2006.
Main outcome measures: Complications were stratified by grade: grade I, only bedside procedure; grade II, therapeutic intervention but without lasting disability; grade III, irreversible deficits; and grade IV, death. Data were analyzed using logistic regression to identify independent risk factors of complications after GBP. Predictors investigated were age, race, sex, marital and insurance status, body mass index, obesity-associated comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Class, operating room time, open or laparoscopic approach, and surgeon experience.
Results: Of the 404 morbidly obese patients who underwent consecutive open (n = 72) or laparoscopic (n = 332) GBP, 74 (18.3%) experienced 107 complications. Grade I and II complications were more frequent after open GBP (grade I, 19.4% after open vs 3.9% after laparoscopic operations, P < .001; grade II, 20.8% after open vs 8.4% after laparoscopic operations, P < .001), and 55% were wound related. Grades III and IV complications occurred in only 4 patients (1%), and frequency was similar for open and laparoscopic cases. Three factors were independently predictive of complications: diabetes mellitus (odds ratio [OR], 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-3.3; P = .02), early surgeon experience (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.4-4.2; P = .001), and open approach (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 2.1-7.3; P < .001).
Conclusions: Complications occurred in 18.3% of patients, but 95% were treated without leading to lasting disability. Presence of diabetes, early surgeon experience, and an open approach are risk factors of complications.