The incidence of cholelithiasis after sleeve gastrectomy and its association with weight loss: A two-centre retrospective cohort study

Int J Surg. 2016 Jun;30:13-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2016.03.060. Epub 2016 Apr 5.


Introduction: Gallstones commonly develop after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and other bariatric surgery; however, incidence of gallstone development after SG has not been adequately studied.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent SG at two institutions from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012. Patients with previous cholecystectomy, preexisting gallstones, gallbladder polyps, or the absence of preoperative abdominal imaging were excluded. Follow-up abdominal ultrasonography was performed once the patients achieved 80-lb weight loss, became symptomatic, or reached one-year post-surgery. The incidence of gallstones and symptomatic gallstones and/or bile sludge was calculated. Different parameters of early and late postoperative weight loss were compared between the patients who developed gallstones and those who did not.

Results: During the study period, 253 underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Ultimately, 96 patients met inclusion criteria and were evaluated. The incidence of gallstone formation was 47.9% (46/96), and the incidence of symptomatic gallstones was 22.9% (22/96). None of the weight loss parameters during the early and late postoperative period were significantly different between the patients who developed gallstones and those who did not.

Conclusion: Gallstones are a common complication after rapid weight loss from SG. Our data suggest that gallstone formation during the weight loss period is not associated with amount or rate of weight loss both during the early or late postoperative period.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Cholelithiasis; Gallstones; Sleeve gastrectomy; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods
  • Bile
  • Female
  • Gallstones / etiology*
  • Gastrectomy / adverse effects*
  • Gastrectomy / methods
  • Gastric Bypass / methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Weight Loss*