A history of smoking may place patients who are undergoing bariatric surgery at increased risk of perioperative complications. Our goal is to understand what complications patients may develop who were smokers in the 12 months prior to bariatric evaluating both Roux en Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) patients.


MBSAQIP patient use files from the years 2015-2017, were analyzed to determine the prevalence of smoking in the prior 12 months to bariatric surgery. Patients were analyzed with regard to smoking status and procedure type. We examined preoperative characteristics and postoperative complications. Data analysis was performed with Chi-Square test and logistic regression was used to control for confounding variables. Statistical significance was considered at a p < 0.05.


555,239 patients had weight loss surgery. 47,768 patients (8.55%) were smokers. Smokers undergoing a RYGB and VSG were at an increased risk of post-operative dehydration, readmission, and re-operation within 30 days. Smokers undergoing (VSG) were also found to be at increased risk for organ space SSI, pneumonia, unplanned ICU admission and re-intervention within 30 days (Table 1).


Using MBSAQIP data, we demonstrated that patients who smoked in prior 12 months to weight loss surgery had increased rates of complications but the rates of complications are still quite low in these patients. Further studies are needed to evaluate longer-term complications.