Study: Gastric bypass is safe for some older adults

Share this content:

Bariatric surgery is safe for carefully chosen older adults and Medicare recipients, a new study finds.

There was little difference in rates of post-operative complications or death between an older group of patients and a younger group of patients, according to researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. They analyzed data on almost 900 patients who had the surgery from 1998 to 2006. Bariatric, or gastric bypass, surgery is used to treat morbid obesity.

Comparing Medicare and non-Medicare patients, researchers found that Medicare patients spent more time in the operation room and hospital. Four non-Medicare patients died within a year of the study, while no Medicare patients died within a year. The study appears in the June issue of the journal Archives of Surgery.