Single-stage laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: safety and efficacy in the super-obese

J Surg Res. 2012 Sep;177(1):49-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2012.01.011. Epub 2012 Mar 10.


Background: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is increasingly used as a single-stage bariatric procedure. However, its safety and efficacy in super-obese patients (body mass index [BMI] > 50 kg/m(2)) is less well defined. This series reports on 400 consecutive patients who underwent LSG at our institution, to evaluate safety and efficacy in the super-obese.

Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data on 400 consecutive patients who underwent LSG at our institution. We analyzed baseline demographic data, median length of hospital stay, complications, length of follow-up, weight loss, and comorbidity resolution. We graded complications according to the Clavien-Dindo classification system. We classified patients as super-obese and non-super-obese and compared outcomes between groups. We used the two-tailed t-test and Fisher's exact test as necessary.

Results: There were 400 patients, 291 of whom were female (73%). The mean age was 44 y (standard deviation [SD] ± 9 y). The mean preoperative weight and BMI were 140 kg (SD ± 31 kg) and 49 kg/m(2) (SD ± 9 kg/m(2)), respectively. There were 67 complications (16%) in total. The major complication rate was 7.2%, with one recorded death. The median length of hospital stay was 3 d, and the mean follow-up period was 1 y. A total of 170 patients (43%) were super-obese, with a mean preoperative BMI of 56 kg/m(2) (SD ± 5 kg/m(2)). The mean absolute weight loss (59 versus 36.7 kg; P < 0.01) and percentage excess weight loss (58.9% versus 45.9%; P < 0.01) was significantly higher in the super-obese. The mean postoperative BMI for super-obese patients was 38.9 kg/m(2). There was no difference between groups in the incidence of major complications (8.2% versus 6.5%; P = 0.56).

Conclusion: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is safe and effective in the super-obese, with acceptable weight loss and no increase in the major complication rate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods
  • Female
  • Gastrectomy / adverse effects*
  • Gastrectomy / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies