Bariatric surgery in the super-super morbidly obese: outcome analysis of patients with BMI >70 using the ACS-NSQIP database

Gustavo Romero-Velez, David M. Pechman, Fernando Muñoz Flores, Erin Moran-Atkin, Jenny Choi, Diego R. Camacho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Bariatric surgery offers patients short- and long-term benefits to their health and quality of life. Currently, we see more patients with superior body mass index (BMI) looking for these benefits. Evidence-based medicine is integral in the evaluation of risks versus benefit; however, data are lacking in this high-risk population. Objectives: To assess the morbidity and mortality of patients with BMI ≥70 undergoing bariatric surgery. Setting: University Hospital, Bronx, New York, United States using national database. Methods: Using the American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (ACS-NSQIP) database for years 2005 to 2016, we identified patients who underwent primary laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Patients with BMI ≥70 were assigned to the BMI >70 (BMI70+) cohort and less obese patients were assigned to the BMI <70 (U70) cohort. Length of stay and 30-day morbidity and mortality were compared. Results: A total of 163,413 patients underwent non-revisional bariatric surgery. Of those, 2322 had a BMI ≥70. BMI70+ was associated with increased mortality (.4% versus .1%, P = .0001), deep vein thrombosis (.6% versus .3%, P = .007), pulmonary (1.9% versus .5%, P = .0001), renal (.9% versus .2%, P = .0001), and infectious complications (1.1% versus .4%, P = .0001). BMI70+ patients had longer mean length of stay (2.6 versus 2.1 d, P = .0001) and operative time (126.1 versus 114.5 min, P = .0001). There was no statistically significant difference in the number of myocardial infarctions (.1% versus .1%, P = .319), pulmonary embolisms (.3% versus .2%, P = .596), and transfusion requirements (.1% versus .1%, P = .105) between groups. Conclusions: Evaluation of risk and benefit is performed on a case-by-case basis, but evidence-based medicine is critical in empowering surgeons and patients to make informed decisions. The overall rate of morbidity and mortality for BMI70+ patients undergoing bariatric surgery was increased over U70 patients but was still relatively low. Our study will allow surgeons to incorporate objective data into their assessment of risk for super-obese patients pursuing bariatric surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-899
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric bypass
  • Laparoscopic
  • Morbid obesity
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Super-obese
  • Weight loss surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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