Laparoscopic Versus Open Gastric Bypass for Morbid Obesity: A Multicenter, Prospective, Risk-Adjusted Analysis From the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program

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To compare laparoscopic versus open gastric bypass procedures with respect to 30-day morbidity and mortality rates, using multi-institutional, prospective, risk-adjusted data.

Summary Background Data:

Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for weight loss is being performed with increasing frequency, partly driven by consumer demand. However, there are no multi-institutional, risk-adjusted, prospective studies comparing laparoscopic and open gastric bypass outcomes.


A multi-institutional, prospective, risk-adjusted cohort study of patients undergoing laparoscopic and open gastric bypass procedures was performed from hospitals (n = 15) involved in the Private Sector Study of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). Data points have been extensively validated, are based on standardized definitions, and were collected by nurse reviewers who are audited for accuracy.


From 2000 to 2003, data from 1356 gastric bypass procedures was collected. The 30-day mortality rate was zero in the laparoscopic group (n = 401), and 0.6% in the open group (n = 955) (P = not significant). The 30-day complication rate was significantly lower in the laparoscopic group as compared with the open group: 7% versus 14.5% (P < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to control for potential confounding variables and showed that patients undergoing an open procedure were more likely to develop a complication, as compared with patients undergoing an laparoscopic procedure (odds ratio = 2.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.33–3.25). Propensity score modeling revealed similar results. A prediction model was derived, and variables that significantly predict higher complication rates after gastric bypass included an open procedure, a high ASA class (III, IV, V), functionally dependent patient, and hypertension as a comorbid illness.


Multicenter, prospective, risk-adjusted data show that laparoscopic gastric bypass is safer than open gastric bypass, with respect to 30-day complication rate.

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