The long-term benefits of bariatric surgery in elderly and super-obese populations
Purpose: to assess the long-term benefits of bariatric surgery in super-obese (body mass index [BMI] = 50) and in elderly obese (age > 60 years) populations.
Methods: one hundred and twenty one patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in a university hospital were retrospectively subdivided into the following groups: BMI < 50 vs = 50 and age < 60 vs = 60 years. Weight loss, body composition and comorbidity outcomes were registered after one and six months and one, two, three and five years with 100%, 93%, 89%, 80%, 75% and 60% successful follow-up.
Results: the percentage of excess BMI loss (% EBMIL) was comparable between BMI groups and age groups and the difference in the long-term follow up was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Complication rates, comorbidity resolution, reduction in body fat and increase in fat-free mass were comparable between BMI groups and age groups. Gastric bypass resulted in a greater weight loss compared to sleeve gastrectomy. The % EBMIL was 65.2% vs 46.7% (p = 0.002), 65.8% vs 44.9% (p = 0.004), 64.4% vs 30.5% (p = 0.001), 55.6% vs 17.6% (p = 0.016) at one, two, three and five years postoperative, respectively. Similarly, in the super-obese group, weight loss was more pronounced after gastric bypass versus sleeve gastrectomy.
Conclusions: bariatric surgery in super-obese and elderly populations is an effective and safe weight loss measure with a good comorbidity resolution in the long-term. Gastric bypass is superior to sleeve gastrectomy in terms of long-term weight loss and comorbidity resolution in all the groups investigated.