Risks of Weight Loss Surgery

Surgery has some real risks, and we make sure our patients fully understand them. Here’s an interesting study published in 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine:

NEJM – Significant Study on the Safety of Bariatric Surgery
July 30, 2009

One of the most significant studies every conducted on the safety of bariatric surgery has been published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. The findings of this research very strongly reaffirm the safety of bariatric surgery and should help to inspire greater confidence from the general public and policymakers, thus making it more difficult to deny or delay coverage of these life-saving and life-extending procedures. The safety and effectiveness of bariatric surgery on morbid obesity and expensive obesity-related conditions is emerging as an even more powerful force in this new era of healthcare reform.

"Perioperative Safety in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery by the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) Consortium" N Engl J Med 2009;361:445-54.

Key findings include:


Study parameters:

The study received national media coverage, and commentary from experts (including ASMBS members) were part of the coverage:

Clinical evidence shows risks of morbid obesity outweigh risks of metabolic and bariatric surgery Individuals with morbid obesity or BMI=30 have a 50-100% increased risk of premature death compared to individuals of healthy weight. Studies show metabolic and bariatric surgery increases life span.