Research Alert


Introduction: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a known risk factor for increased postoperative morbidity. However, the safety in patients with CHF has not been well established. The objective of this study was to assess the safety of surgery in patients with a history of CHF undergoing bariatric surgical procedures.

Methods: Retrospective review of a prospectively maintained Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) Center of Excellence database. Patients with known CHF undergoing bariatric procedures over an 11-year period were reviewed.

Results: Over the 11-year period, 4470 total bariatric surgeries were performed, of which 41 (.92%) patients had known CHF. Twenty-one patients were men (51.2%) with a mean age of 55.8 years and mean body mass index (BMI) of 51.9. Comorbidities included hypertension (87.8%), obstructive sleep apnea (80.5%), osteoarthritis (63.4%), gastroesophageal reflux disease (56%), and diabetes (53.7%). Surgical procedures included 16 sleeve gastrectomies (SGs) (39%), 11 Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses (RYGBs) (26.8%), 10 laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands (LAGBs) (24.4%), 1 removal of a gastric band and conversion to SG (2.4%), 1 removal of a gastric band to RYGB (2.4%), 1 gastric band over RYGB pouch (2.4%), and 1 gastric band replacement (2.4%). All cases were performed minimally invasively (73.2% laparoscopic and 26.8% robotic). Mean LOS was 2.53 days. Thirty-day complications included 2 readmissions (4.9% [1 small bowel obstruction and 1 pulmonary edema]), 1 reoperation (2.4% [small bowel obstruction]), and 1 mortality (2.4%) on postoperative day 30 unrelated to the surgery.

Conclusions: Bariatric surgery can be performed safely in patients with CHF.

Journal Link: Brathwaite B., Howell R., Petrone P., Brathwaite CEM. (2020). Safety of Bariatric Surgery in Patients with Congestive Heart Failure: Results of an Eleven-Year Retrospective Study. Manuscript accepted for publication to The American Surgeon (12/2020)