Gastric Sleeve Surgery Mortality Rate Statistics

mortality rate due to gastric sleeve surgery

All major surgical procedures are associated with the risk of death either during or after the surgery. The cause of death may be due to anesthetic or surgical complications. This is one of the reasons for proper selection and optimization of patients before surgery.

The most up-date data on Gastric Sleeve’s death rate is approximately 0.08% according to ASMBS. Which is approximately 8 patients per 10,000 laparoscopic gastric sleeve procedures.

What Conditions Increase Death Risk?

A history of deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus, a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, and impaired functional status were each independently associated with an increased risk of the composite end point.

Death Rate Reduced After Bariatric Surgery

Scientists found that all-cause mortality was 16% lower in people who had undergone bariatric surgery than those who had not. Additionally, researchers reported the death rate for people who had weight loss surgery decreased by 29% for cardiovascular disease, 43% for cancer, and 72% for diabetes compared to people who had not had the surgery.

gastric sleeve surgery and mortality rate

Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass Long-Term Safety

This cohort study of a national sample of 95 405 Medicare beneficiaries found that sleeve gastrectomy was associated with a lower risk of mortality, complications, and overall reintervention 5 years after surgery.

The mortality (death) rate following any surgery is calculated by the number of fatalities at a particular time after the surgery divided by the total number of people that had the surgery. This is then multiplied by 100.

Various studies have demonstrated the safety of gastric sleeve surgery over other bariatric surgeries. In one of such studies carried out by researchers at Stanford University, a total of 270,000 metabolic and bariatric surgeries were performed over a four-year period (2007-2010).

The total number of gastric sleeve surgeries done was approximately 16,000 with a 30-day mortality rate of 0.08%. This mortality rate is lower when compared to that of gastric bypass (0.14%).

A simpler interpretation of this is that, out of 16,000 patients who had gastric sleeve surgery, about 13 patients died within 30 days after the surgery. This figure is less than one death in every 1000 cases of gastric sleeve surgery.

Morbidly obese patients often suffer from gallbladder disease that may necessitate surgery for gallbladder removal; a surgery with a mortality rate that is higher than that of gastric sleeve surgery.

Longitudinal Assessment Bariatric Surgery

The Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) research conducted by Smith et al., reviewed the outcome of bariatric surgeries in ten centers over a five-year period. The study was to combine the statistics on the number and causes of deaths in all the centers to have a more reliable data having recognized the fact that data from the individual center may not represent an accurate picture of the mortality rate associated with bariatric surgeries.

The centers that participated in the study are; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Pennsylvania), New York-Presbyterian Hospital (New York and New Jersey), East Carolina Medical Center (North Carolina), the MeritCare Health Systems through the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute (North Dakota), Sacramento Bariatric (California), University of Washington Medical Center or Virginia Mason Medical Center (Washington), and Oregon Health and Sciences University or Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital (Oregon).

Eighteen deaths occurred in a total of 6,118 patients who had bariatric surgeries including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, gastric banding, etc. This figure represents a mortality rate of 0.3% for all the operations put together. However, gastric sleeve surgery accounted for only two out of the eighteen deaths that were recorded within 30 days post-surgery.

About Gastric Sleeve

Gastric sleeve surgery which is now commonly done by laparoscopic approach is one of the surgical treatment options for obesity. It is now the most commonly performed bariatric surgery in the U.S. This is due to its proven effectiveness regarding weight loss and resolution/improvement in comorbid conditions and lesser postoperative complication and mortality. It involves the cutting of the stomach to reduce its capacity by 80-90% which will result in reduced food intake and weight loss.

Following gastric sleeve surgery, complete resolution or improvement in comorbid conditions, which put the life of an obese individual at risk of death, are expected. Thus, gastric sleeve surgery can be seen as a weight loss procedure, a procedure that reverses comorbid condition as well as reduces the chance of death and improves survival.

Gastric Sleeve is Safer Than Other Weight Loss Procedures

In conclusion, the overall mortality rate of bariatric surgeries is low and comparable to what obtains in non-weight loss surgeries. Moreover, gastric sleeve surgery is even safer than most other surgical procedures and one of the safest bariatric surgeries. The possible risk of death from gastric sleeve surgery is lower when compared to the risk of death from obesity and its associated comorbid conditions.

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