Background

Bariatric surgery in the elderly may not be widely performed due to concerns of efficacy and safety. Objectives: Review complications, weight loss, and comorbidity resolution in older vs. younger patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed the results of sixty patients undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SG) or laparoscopic Roux-en-y gastric bypass (LRYGB) over a three year period at our institution. A cohort of thirty patients, aged 40-55 (mean 46.9), matched by BMI and gender was compared to an older group of thirty patients, aged 65 and over (mean 67.2) with a mean body-mass index (BMI) of 43.8, and 42.1 respectively. Similar numbers of LRYGB and SG were done in each group.

Results

The younger group demonstrated greater excess body weight loss% (EBWL) than the older cohort (70.8% vs 59.9%, NS). Resolution or improvement in diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and sleep apnea in older vs. younger patients occurred in 81% vs 84%, 69% vs 64%, 54% v 57%, and 48% v 45% respectively. Complications were more frequent in the older population within 30 days of surgery (13% vs 0%,NS). No difference in the long-term complications was identified (16.7 vs 20%). The average length of stay for elderly patients was longer, 2.7+1.1 days vs 2.2+0.4 days.