Background: Conservative obesity treatment often leads to limited results. Bariatric surgery is highly efficient, but the candidates are at risk of developing perioperative complications. Bariatric outcomes have been well described in the past, but there are only few reports of perioperative outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of anaesthetic and surgical complications of Roux-en-Y bypass.
Methods: Data of all adult patients, who underwent primary Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery between 1/2006 and 12/2013 at the University Hospital Zurich were analysed. Using our clinical database, anaesthetic and surgical complications during the first 30 days after surgery were analysed and risk factors determined by multivariate analysis.
Results: Seven hundred eleven patients (72% female, median age 40 years) were analysed. Overall, surgical complications occurred in 34% patient, while complications attributable to anaesthesia occurred in 37%. Post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) were observed in 34%, intubation-related complications in 4%, and delayed extubation in 2% of our patients. Within the first 30 days after surgery, 22% of the patients presented with an infection. Gastrointestinal complications were found in 8%, and bleeding complications in 3%. Anaesthesia complications were less common in older patients and in patients anaesthetized with a volatile anaesthetic. Severe complications were more common in patients with a lower body mass index (BMI) and with longer surgery. The risk to develop a postoperative infection was higher in diabetic patients.
Conclusion: Roux-en-Y bariatric surgery has few anaesthetic complications, the most common is PONV. PONV is more common in younger patients and not more common with volatile anaesthetics. Major complications are overall rare and occur in patients with lower BMI and longer surgery, likely reflecting more difficult procedures.
Keywords: Anaesthesia; Bariatric surgery; Intraoperative complications; Postoperative complications.