Comparative outcomes of bariatric surgery in patients with impaired mobility and ambulatory population

Gautam Sharma, Zubaidah Nor-Hanipah, Ivy N. Haskins, Suriya Punchai, Andrew T. Strong, Chao Tu, John H. Rodriguez, Phillip R. Schauer, Matthew Kroh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose This study aims to characterize complications, metabolic improvement, and change in ambulation status for patients with impaired mobility undergoing bariatric surgery. Material and Methods Individuals undergoing primary sleeve gastrectomy (SG) or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) from February 2008 to December 2015 were included. Impaired mobility (WC) was defined as using a wheelchair or motorized scooter for at least part of a typical day. The WC group was propensity score matched to ambulatory patients (1:5 ratio). Comparisons were made for 30-day morbidity and mortality and 1-year improvement in weight-related comorbidities. Results There were 93 patients in the WC group matched to 465 ambulatory controls. The median operative time (180 vs 159 min, p = 0.003) and postoperative length of stay (4 vs 3 days, p ≤ 0.001) was higher in the WC group. There were no differences in readmission or all-cause morbidity within 30 days. The median percent excess weight loss (%EWL) at 1 year was similar (WC group, 65% available, 53% EWL vs AMB group, 73% available, 54% EWL); however, patients with impaired mobility were less likely to experience improvement in diabetes (76 vs 90%, p = 0.046), hypertension (63 vs 82%, p < 0.005), and obstructive sleep apnea (53 vs 71%, p < 0.001). Within the WC group, 62% had improvement in their mobility status, eliminating dependence on wheelchair or scooter assistance. Conclusion Patients with both obesity and impaired mobility experience similar rates of perioperative morbidity and weight loss at 1 year compared to ambulatory controls. However, improvement in weight-related comorbidities may be less likely with impaired mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2014-2024
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 12 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Impaired mobility
  • Metabolic outcomes
  • Non-ambulatory
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
  • Wheelchair bound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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