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Bariatric Surgery Statistics & Facts [Updated 2017]

Bariatric Dieting

Weight Loss - Women's StomachAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data in 2016, more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are obese (“Adult Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC,” 2016).

The WHO data showed that about 13% of the entire world populations were obese as at 2014. The prevalence of obesity has been rising due to the interaction between our genetic make-up and environment. The environmental factors are majorly our dietary habit and sedentary lifestyle. Increased industrialization and digitization has led to machines replacing humans in most energy-demanding activities.

Morbid obesity (BMI>40) in most cases do not respond significantly to dietary modification, and most other obese individuals desire a significant reduction in weight and resolution of associated comorbid conditions. Thus, bariatric (weight loss) surgery is being used as solutions for these set of people.

As the prevalence of obesity is rising, there is also a proportionate increase in the number of people undergoing weight loss surgeries. Therefore it is not a surprise that the weight loss industry is fast-growing by the day.

The data revealed that between 2013 and 2016, the average body mass index (BMI) of patients who had bariatric surgeries was 49.1 kg/m2 with a mean weight of 136.4 kg, which is double the ideal weight for height.

Approximately 76% of these patients were females, and most patients have an average of 3-4 obesity-associated comorbid conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, apnea, arthritis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, dyslipidemia, etc. the average length of hospital stay after the surgery was 2-3 days with a survival rate of 99.95%.

Rising Prevalence of Gastric Sleeve

The data published by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric surgery in July 2016, the total number of bariatric surgery done in the US in the year 2011 was 158,000 with the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) forming the most commonly performed bariatric surgery (36.7%). Gastric band and gastric sleeve came second and third respectively (34.5% and 17.8%). Only 6% of these patients had revision surgery done.

[dt_list style=”1″ bullet_position=”middle” dividers=”true”][dt_list_item image=””]Average Bariatric Surgeries Performed Yearly: 196,000[/dt_list_item][/dt_list]

Due to a rising prevalence of obesity, the figure rose to 196,000 in 2015, with gastric sleeve surgery being the most commonly performed bariatric surgery in that year (51.7%). Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) and the gastric band were second and third respectively (23.1% and 5.7%). The percentage of those who had revision surgeries in the year 2015, however, rose to more than double the value for 2011(13.6% vs. 6%).

In terms of Excess Weight Loss (EWL) among the 3 most common bariatric surgeries, the United Kingdom National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSR) report showed that those who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass operation had the greatest degree of EWL (55-70%). This was followed by patients who had gastric sleeve surgery (55-60%) and the least was recorded after gastric banding (45-55%). This excess weight loss was found to be sustained for up 2years of follow up.

In each type of the 3 bariatric surgeries above, the excess weight loss in men were less than those of women. No clear explanation for this observation, however, it may be due to interaction between many factors. It was also observed that patients with a BMI 50 kg m2. It is therefore important to offer bariatric surgery to the obese individual before the BMI gets to 50kgm2 in other to achieve optimal excess weight loss.

The analysis of a study done by the ASMBS which involved about 60,000 patients who had bariatric surgeries, showed that the overall average risk of dying as a consequence of bariatric surgery was 0.13%

The analysis of a study done by the ASMBS which involved about 60,000 patients who had bariatric surgeries, showed that the overall average risk of dying as a consequence of bariatric surgery was 0.13% (approximately 1 out of every 1,000 patients who undergo bariatric surgery will die). This, when compared with the risk of death from other surgeries, is significantly low. Also associated comorbid conditions such as hypertension and its likely complications and diabetes mellitus cause more deaths than bariatric surgery. Thus, bariatric surgery, by causing resolution/improvement in the comorbid conditions will reduce the overall risk of dying from obesity.

Bariatric Surgeries Statistics in the United Kingdom

According to the United Kingdom National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSR) report, about NHS patients that had bariatric surgery, published in February 2017, a total of 5,192 primary operations were done while about 336 revision surgeries were also performed in 2012/2013 financial year. These figures reduced to 5,056 and rose to 648 respectively in 2015/2016 fiscal year.


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This article contains scientific and health-related references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.