Laparoscopic bariatric surgery can be safe for treatment of morbid obesity in patients older than 60 years

David Hazzan, Edward H. Chin, Emily Steinhagen, Subhash Kini, Michel Gagner, Alfons Pomp, Daniel Herron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous reports have questioned the safety of bariatric surgery in older patients. The aim of this study was to quantify the perioperative morbidity and mortality of older patients undergoing laparoscopic bariatric procedures at our institution. Methods: A retrospective chart review of all laparoscopic bariatric procedures performed from February 1999 to September 2005 was performed to identify patients at Mount Sinai Medical Center who were older than 60 years at surgery. Results: We identified 55 patients (36 women and 19 men). The mean age was 61.5 years (range 60-70), and the mean body mass index was 46.2 kg/m2 (range 38.1-61.0). Of the 55 patients, 33 (60%) had undergone laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, 9 (16%) laparoscopic gastric banding, 7 (13%) laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, 3 (5.5%) laparoscopic revisional surgery, and 3 (5.5%) laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. The mean operative time was 2.3 hours (range 1.1-5.5). No patients required conversion to open surgery, and no perioperative mortality occurred within 30 days. The morbidity rate was 7.3% (n = 4). One patient developed an anastomotic bleed that was treated conservatively, and another patient developed an empyema that was successfully drained with a chest tube. That patient also developed a urinary tract infection, and another patient had a wound infection. The mean length of stay was 2.8 days (range 1-14). Conclusions: In a carefully selected patient population in a medical center with appropriate experience, laparoscopic bariatric surgery can be performed safely with low morbidity and mortality in the elderly population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-616
Number of pages4
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Elderly
  • Laparoscopy
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality


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