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Bariatric surgery and total knee/hip arthroplasty: an analysis of the impact of sequence and timing on outcomes


Background Patients with morbid obesity may require both bariatric surgery and total knee/hip arthroplasty (TKA/THA). How to sequence these two procedures with better outcomes remains largely unstudied.

Methods This cohort study extracted claims data on patients with an obesity diagnosis that received both bariatric surgery and TKA/THA surgery within 5 years of each other (Premier Healthcare database 2006–2019). Overall, 1894 patients received bariatric surgery before TKA or THA, while 1000 patients underwent TKA or THA before bariatric surgery. Main outcomes and measures include major complications (acute renal failure, acute myocardial infarction, other cardiovascular complications, sepsis/septic shock, pulmonary complications, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, and central nervous system-related adverse events), postoperative intensive care unit utilization, ventilator utilization, 30-day readmission, 90-day readmission, 180-day readmission and total hospital length of stay after the second surgery. Regression models measured the association between the complications and sequence of TKA/THA and bariatric surgery.

Results Undergoing TKA/THA before bariatric surgery (compared with the reverse) was associated with higher odds of major complications (7.0% vs 1.9%; adjusted OR 4.8, 95% CI 3.1, 7.6, p<0.001). Similar patterns were also observed for intensive care unit admission, ventilator use postoperatively, 30-day, and 90-day readmissions. Patients who received a second surgery within 6 months of their first surgery exhibited worse outcomes, especially among the TKA/THA first patient cohort. Major complication incidences occurred at 20.5%, 12.5%, 5.1%, 5.0%, 5.8% and 8.5% with time between TKA/THA and bariatric surgery at <6 months, 6 months–1 year, 1–2, 2–3, 3–4 and 4–5 years, respectively.

Conclusions Patients who require both bariatric surgery and TKA/THA should consider bariatric surgery before TKA/THA as it is associated with improved outcomes. Procedures should be staged beyond 6 months.

  • outcomes
  • outcome assessment
  • health care
  • treatment outcome
  • postoperative complications

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. The data used in this study are commercially available from Premier Healthcare database (Premier Healthcare Solutions, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA).

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