A comparison of revisional and primary bariatric surgery

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Abstract

Background

Revisional surgery is an important component of addressing weight regain and complications following primary bariatric surgery. Owing to provincial need and the complexity of this patient population, a specialized multidisciplinary revision clinic was developed. We sought to characterize patients who undergo revision surgery and compare their outcomes with primary bariatric surgery clinic data.

Methods

We completed a retrospective chart review of bariatric revision clinic patients compared with primary bariatric surgery patients from December 2009 to June 2014.

Results

We reviewed the charts of 2769 primary bariatric clinic patients, 886 of whom had bariatric surgery, and 534 revision bariatric clinic patients, 83 of whom had revision surgery. Fewer revision clinic patients underwent surgery than primary clinic patients (22% v. 32%). The mean preoperative body mass index (BMI) was 44.7 ± 9.5 in revision patients compared with 45.7 ± 7.6 in primary bariatric surgery patients. Most revision patients had a prior vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG; 48%) or a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB; 24%). Bands were removed in 36% of all LAGB patients presenting to clinic. Of the 134 procedures performed in the revision clinic, 83 were bariatric weight loss surgeries, and 51 were band removals. Revision clinic patients experienced a significant decrease in BMI (from 44.7 ± 9.5 to 33.8 ± 7.5, p < 0.001); their BMI at 12-month follow-up was similar to that of primary clinic patients (34.5 ± 7.0, p = 0.7). Complications were significantly more frequent in revision patients than primary patients (41% v. 15%, p < 0.001).

Conclusion

A bariatric revision clinic manages a wide variety of complex patients distinct from those seen in a primary clinic. Operative candidates at the revision clinic are chosen based on favourable medical, anatomic and psychosocial factors, keeping in mind the resource constraints of a public health care system.

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