Bariatric Surgery for Congestive Heart Failure Patients Improves Access to Transplantation and Long-term Survival

Rashikh A. Choudhury, M. Foster, G. Hoeltzel, H. B. Moore, H. Yaffe, D. Yoeli, K. Prins, C. Ghincea, N. Vigneshwar, K. R. Dumon, J. E. Rame, K. D. Conzen, J. J. Pomposelli, E. A. Pomfret, T. L. Nydam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Obese patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are often denied access to heart transplantation until they obtain significant weight loss to achieve a certain BMI threshold, often less than 35 kg/m2. It is unknown whether the rapid weight loss associated with bariatric surgery leads to improved waitlist placement, and as such improved survival for morbidly obese patients with CHF. Methods: A decision analytic Markov state transition model was created to simulate the life of morbidly obese patients with CHF who were deemed ineligible to be waitlisted for heart transplantation unless they achieved a BMI less than 35 kg/m2. Life expectancy following medical weight management (MWM), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) was estimated. Base case patients were defined as having a pre-intervention BMI of 45 kg/m2. Sensitivity analysis of initial BMI was performed. Markov parameters were extracted from literature review. Results: RYGB improved survival compared with both SG and MWM. RYGB patients had higher rates of transplantation, leading to improved mean long-term survival. Base case patients who underwent RYGB gained 2.1 additional years of life compared with patient’s who underwent SG and 7.4 additional years of life compared with MWM. SG patients gained 5.3 years of life compared with MWM. Conclusions: When strict waitlist criteria were applied, bariatric surgery improved access to heart transplantation and thereby increased long-term survival compared with MWM. Morbidly obese CHF patients who anticipate need for heart transplantation should be encouraged to pursue surgical weight management strategies, necessitating discussion between bariatric surgeons, cardiologists, and cardiac surgeons for appropriate perioperative risk management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-931
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Heart Failure
  • Markov
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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