Clinical significance of failure to lose weight 10 years after roux-en-y gastric bypass

Robert B. Hawkins, J. Hunter Mehaffey, Timothy L. McMurry, Jennifer Kirby, Steven K. Malin, Bruce Schirmer, Peter T. Hallowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background Although Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) induces short-term weight loss and co-morbidity amelioration, long-term data suggest that a subset of patients return to their preoperative body mass index (BMI). Objectives To identify the clinical implications of 10-year weight loss failure after RYGB. Setting An academic teaching hospital. Methods Adults undergoing RYGB (1985–2004) were included in this study (n = 1087). Absolute weight loss failure was defined as ≤0% reduction in excess BMI 10 years after surgery. Univariate analyses compared co-morbidity rates and resolution by weight loss classification. Multivariable regression modeling analyzed preoperative predictors of 10-year percent reduction in excess BMI and weight loss failure. Results Complete follow-up was available for 617 (57%) patients with a 10-year median percent reduction in excess BMI of 57.1%; 10.2% of patients had weight loss failure. Prevalence of all co-morbidities decreased, even in patients with weight loss failure (all P<.05). Compared with patients with successful weight loss, patients with weight loss failure had similar rates of resolution of pre-existing co-morbidities, except for reduced resolution of apnea and cardiac co-morbidities (both P<.05). Risk factors for weight loss failure included lower BMI, nongovernmental insurance, longer travel time to hospital, and year of surgery. Nongovernmental insurance (odds ratio 2.03, P =.036) conferred the highest adjusted odds of weight loss failure. Conclusions The vast majority of patients experience dramatic health improvement 10 years after RYGB, even though some patients fail to maintain their weight loss. Renewed focus should be placed on prevention and treatment of chronic disease, with further investigation of weight loss independent mechanisms of health improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1710-1716
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric bypass
  • Prediction models
  • Weight loss


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