Laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy: A 5-year veterans affairs review

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SG) in a VA population.

SG has recently gained popularity as a definitive bariatric surgery procedure. Data are lacking on long-term outcomes, particularly in a Veterans Affairs population.

We retrospectively reviewed 223 patients who underwent SG for morbid obesity between January 2009 and June 2014. Data on length of stay, complications, interval weight loss, comorbidities, and number of therapies preoperatively and at long-term follow-up were collected.

There were 164 males and 59 females who underwent SG. The mean body mass index was 45.4 kg/m2. Mean excess weight loss at 1 year was 62.9%, and 47.0% at 5 years. Weight loss continued until 12 to 18 months, when there was a nadir in weight loss (P < .001). There were 4 deaths and 4 staple-line leaks, with 3 deaths related to late cardiac events. One early death occurred in a very high-risk patient. All staple-line leaks were managed nonoperatively. Of the 223 patients, 193 had hypertension, 137 diabetes, 158 hyperlipidemia, 119 obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and 125 had gastroesophageal reflux disease. Preoperatively, patients were on a mean of 1.9 antihypertensive and 0.9 hyperlipidemic, anti-reflux and oral hypoglycemic agents. Fifty percent of patients with diabetes were on insulin and 68% with OSA used continuous positive airway pressure/bilevel positive airway pressure (CPAP/BiPAP). We found significant absolute reductions in mean antihypertensive medications (−0.8), hyperlipidemic agents (−0.4), antireflux agents (−0.4), oral hypoglycemics (−0.6), insulin use (−25%), and use of CPAP/BiPAP (−55%) (all P < .001).

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a safe and effective bariatric surgery procedure, resulting in significant early weight loss up to 18 months and long-term improvement in all major obesity-related comorbid conditions.

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