Obesity Management

Safety & Efficacy

Bariatric surgery improves obesity-related diseases and reduces the risk of mortality

"Surgical intervention in obesity significantly reduces the risk of DM [diabetes mellitus] and the risk of future mortality and is cost effective."
– American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (2011)298

Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence must report outcomes data to a national registry, thereby providing good data to assess the results of the surgery.

Based on reported procedures to the national registry for a period between June 2007 and September 2009, the percentage of serious events following all 3 types of bariatric surgery was below 2%. The percentage of mortality was less than .25%.306

The mortality rate for bariatric and metabolic surgery is lower than for other common procedures such as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, hip replacement or coronary artery bypass.

While there are risks with any surgery, advances in bariatric surgery over the years and the fact that 90% are performed laparoscopically have reduced the incidence of serious events and/or deaths.

Risk of premature death – reduced 89%302

Risk of premature death–reduced 89%

Over the years, bariatric surgery has progressively become safer for these reasons:290

  • Advances in the procedures and techniques
  • At least 90% of bariatric procedures are now performed laparoscopically291
  • Center of Excellence (COE) accreditation has been established

Bariatric and metabolic surgery – rate of serious complications and mortality by procedure306

Procedure Serious complications Mortality
Gastric bypass 1.48% 0.14%
Sleeve gastrectomy 1.43% 0.18%
Gastric banding 0.31% 0.03%
Data from SRC BOLD Report: Summary of Key Statistics Prepared for SRC’s Strategic Alliance Partners. March 2010. Data are reported on 80,157 research-consented patients who have had a surgery entered in BOLD from June 2007 through Sept 22, 2009. All patients with data in BOLD have had their bariatric surgery performed by a surgeon participating in SRC’s Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence (BSCOE) program. Serious complications include death, anastomotic leakage, cardiac arrest, deep vein thrombosis, evisceration, heart failure, liver failure, multisystem organ failure, myocardial infarction, pneumothorax, pulmonary embolism, renal failure, respiratory failure, sepsis, stroke, systemic inflammatory response syndrome and bleeding requiring blood transfusion. Mortality = died within 30 days.

Common elective procedures – complications and mortality291

Procedure Overall complications Mortality
Colectomy 2.4% 0.8%
Hysterectomy 0.4% NS
Cholecystectomy 0.9% 0.9%
Hip replacement 1.0% 0.2%
Surgeon/Seminar Finder
Surgeon/Seminar Finder
For more information, or answers to questions, please call
For more information, or answers to questions, please call

Site References

  • * Includes perioperative (30-day) mortality of 0.4%. p-value 0.001
Thanks for submitting the question. Thanks for submitting the question. Thanks for submitting the question. Thanks for submitting the question. on dev
Share with Friends

Interested in sharing this item?

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Device Code Translator
Device code translator results

Back to Search