Background: The population are getting older and obesity is growing. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is increasingly used worldwide but is still used with skepticism in the elderly. The purpose of our analysis is to judge the security of LSG in patients older than 60 years compared to patients younger than 60 years.
Methods: This retrospective review included data of all patients in Germany who underwent LSG between January 2005 and December 2016.The data were published online in the German Bariatric Surgery Registry. A total of 21,571 operations were gathered and divided into two groups: group I, patients < 60 years old; and group II, patients ≥ 60 years old.
Results: The total number of patients and the mean body mass index of group I and group II was 19,786, 51.7 ± 9.5 kg/m2 and 1771, 49.2 ± 8.1 kg/m2, respectively. Regarding comorbidities, group II suffered statistically significantly more comorbidities than group I (p < 0.001). The general postoperative complications were 4.9% in group I and 7.8% in group II (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in special postoperative complications (p = 0.048) and a slightly higher intraoperative complication rate in group II (2.2% vs. 1.6%, p = 0.048). Thirty-day mortality rate for group I versus II was 0.22% and 0.23% (p = 0.977), respectively.
Conclusions: LSG is a low-risk operation and safe surgical method with acceptable, not elevated perioperative morbidity and mortality rates in patients ≥ 60 years of age.
Keywords: Age over 60; Complications; Morbidity; Mortality; Obesity surgery; Sleeve gastrectomy.