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Rate of Acute Hospital Admissions Before and After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery: A Population-based Cohort Study

Gribsholt, Sigrid Bjerge MD*,†; Svensson, Elisabeth PhD; Richelsen, Bjørn DMSc*; Raundahl, Uffe MD; Sørensen, Henrik Toft DMSc; Thomsen, Reimar Wernich PhD

doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000002113
Original Articles

Objective: To examine rates of acute inpatient hospital admissions patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery and a matched population-based comparison cohort.

Summary Background Data: Little is known about the admission rates before and after RYGB.

Methods: Nationwide population-based cohort study, including all 9985 patients undergoing RYGB in Denmark during 2006 to 2010, and 247,375 matched general population comparisons. We calculated cumulative incidence of surgical complications after RYGB and incidence rate ratios (RRs) of hospital admission in RYGB patients versus comparisons before and after RYGB.

Results: Admissions for surgical complications occurred in 3.3% (n = 328) of RYGB patients <30 days after surgery and in 23.9% (n = 2367) during entire follow-up (median 4.2 yrs). Fifteen percent (n = 1486) were admitted with abdominal pain, 5.2% (n = 518) with intestinal obstruction during follow-up. Overall admission rates in RYGB patients versus comparisons were 11.5 versus 5.9 per 100 person-years before RYGB [RR = 1.95 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.89–2.01)], increasing to 24.9 versus 7.1 per 100 person-years after RYGB [RR = 3.38 (95% CI; 3.30, 3.47)]. RRs of cardiovascular and chronic pulmonary disease admissions decreased considerably. RRs increased for alcohol abuse [0.59 (95% CI; 0.39–0.88) to 2.17 (95% CI; 1.72–2.72)], self-harm (suicide attempts, medication overuse) [1.72 (95% CI; 1.32–2.25) to 3.61 (95% CI; 2.88–4.52)], anemia [0.84 (95% CI; 0.39–1.78) to 17.92 (95% CI; 14.94–21.48)], and osteoporosis [1.19 (95% CI; 0.93–1.53) to 1.65 (95% CI; 1.35–2.02)].

Conclusions: Short-term surgical complications occurred in 3% and long-term complications in one-fourth of RYGB patients. Compared with the general population, the RR for any inpatient admission increased after RYGB.

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*Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus C, Denmark

The Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark

Department of Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus C, Denmark.

Reprints: Sigrid Bjerge Gribsholt, MD, Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Tage-Hansens Gade 2-4, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. E-mail:

This study was supported in part by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Research Council of the Central Denmark Region, the A.P. Møller Foundation, and the Program for Clinical Research Infrastructure (PROCRIN) established by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Lundbeck Foundation.

Reprints will be available from the first author SBG.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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