Efficacy of Bariatric Surgery in Elderly: A Case

The patient's past medical history includes type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and morbid obesity
The patient's past medical history includes type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and morbid obesity

This article is written live from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 2017 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. MPR will be reporting news on the latest findings from leading experts in endocrinology. Check back for more news from AACE 2017.


Mohammad El-Rifai, MD, of Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, presented “a case of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in a 69-year-old patient with an excellent outcome” at the AACE 2017 Annual Meeting.

Although bariatric surgery is becoming increasingly common, there is limited evidence surrounding the outcomes of this surgical procedure in elderly patients. Dr. El-Rifai and associates describe the effectiveness of this procedure in a 69-year-old female patient.

The patient's past medical history includes type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and morbid obesity. Prior to surgery, the patient weighed 265.4lbs, had a body mass index (BMI) of 47.16kg/m2, and an HbA1c of 7.7%. The patient's medications included insulin detemir (45 units/day), insulin aspart (15 units/day), metformin extended-release (750mg twice daily), and exenatide extended-release.

The study authors reported that at a follow-up visit 15 months post surgery, the patient had “achieved a desirable weight loss and enjoyed a better quality of life.” The patient's total weight loss was reported to be 72lbs, her BMI fell to 33.16kg/m2, and her HbA1c dropped to 6.0%. Additionally, the patient was able to discontinue 3 of her diabetic medications and is currently managed with metformin alone. 

The authors also reported that both the patient's lipid profile and blood pressure also improved, therefore simvastatin, as well as 2 of her antihypertensive medications, were discontinued. The authors noted that the only complication post-operatively was “anemia secondary to blood loss which required a transfusion of 2 units of packed red blood cells.”

In this patient case, the authors discuss the positive effects bariatric surgery had on elderly patient's health and quality of life. The authors conclude that the patient “had significant improvement in her diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia and was able to stop most of her medications for these conditions.”  They added, “age alone should not be an exclusion for bariatric surgery in the elderly.”

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