Study compares adverse events after two types of bariatric surgery in adolescents

Complication and death rates were similar for both gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy when researchers compared the two weight-loss surgeries in adolescents covered by Medicaid.

2:09 PM

Author | Mary Clare Fischer

surgery table blue yellow lab note badge
Justine Ross, Jacob Dwyer, Michigan Medicine.

Adolescents who underwent sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight-loss surgery that involves removing part of the stomach, were less likely to go the emergency room or be admitted to the hospital in the five years after their operations than those who had their stomachs divided into pouches through gastric bypass surgery, according to new research.

Rates of complications, death and subsequent surgery were similar in both groups, University of Michigan researchers found in an analysis published in JAMA.

All the patients studied had Medicaid, the largest health insurance provider for those under the age of 19 in the United States.

"Prior research had found that sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass resulted in significant weight loss and low complication rates in adolescents with severe obesity," said Ryan Howard, M.D., a general surgery resident at University of Michigan Health. "But the comparative outcomes of these two procedures, which might help inform health insurance policy and decision-making, had yet to be explored for adolescents insured by Medicaid."

The researchers identified just over 1,110 patients who had undergone one of the two weight-loss surgeries between 2012 and 2018, a relatively small number compared to the more than 95,000 patients covered by Medicare who had either gastric bypass or a sleeve gastrectomy in the same time period.

Howard says the disparity could be due to access issues or concerns about bariatric surgery as a weight-loss treatment for youth.

Additional authors include Jie Yang, Ph.D., and Jyothi Thumma, M.P.H., of the University of Michigan Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy and Anne Ehlers, M.D., M.P.H., Sean O'Neill, M.D., Ph.D., Dana Telem, M.D., M.P.H., and Justin B. Dimick, M.D., M.P.H., all of Michigan Medicine.

Paper cited: "Health Care Use and Adverse Events After Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass Among Adolescents With Severe Obesity Insured by Medicaid," JAMA.

More Articles About: Lab Notes All Research Topics
Health Lab word mark overlaying blue cells
Health Lab

Explore a variety of healthcare news & stories by visiting the Health Lab home page for more articles.

Media Contact Public Relations

Department of Communication at Michigan Medicine

[email protected]


Stay Informed

Want top health & research news weekly? Sign up for Health Lab’s newsletters today!

Featured News & Stories Microscope
Health Lab
Studying a protein modification process in worms provides potential insights for human health
Too much of this post-translational modification impacted multiple body systems
eye drawing lab note
Health Lab
Many older adults lack clear eyesight, even with glasses
Vision impairment disproportionately impacts older adults
pregnant stomach with yellow dots and blue undertone lab note
Health Lab
Few pregnant people who died of overdose, suicide in Michigan received proper treatment before death
A review of maternal deaths suggests most individuals had documented behavioral health conditions but only one-third received appropriate pharmacologic treatment before death
eye lab note
Health Lab
Study identifies a signaling cascade behind retina regeneration in zebrafish
The findings could help inform treatments for blindness in humans.
cannabis leaf lab note logo yellow blue
Health Lab
Cannabis users had worse bypass outcomes, increased amputation and opioid use
Just over 125 of 100,000 people in the U.S. will have a bypass procedure.
money stack with lab note logo
Health Lab
Major financial pain follows major injury, study says
Medical debt in collections and bankruptcy much higher in working-age adults after hospitalization for traumatic injury, suggesting need for strategies to reduce financial burden.