Class II obesity affects 1 in 5 patients with left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and is considered a potential barrier to heart transplantation (HT). Studies about the outcomes of bariatric surgery in this population are scarce.
We identified Medicare beneficiaries who had an LVAD placed from 2012 to 2019 and had at least class II obesity at the time of LVAD placement and identified patients who underwent bariatric surgery during or after the LVAD implantation admission. The primary outcome was major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) at 30 days (mortality, cerebral hemorrhage, or ischemic stroke) after bariatric surgery.
Among patients who underwent LVAD implantation from 2012 to 2019, 2798 (19.4%) had at least class II obesity, and 198 (7.1%) patients had bariatric surgery (24 on same admission and 174 after a median of 702 days). After bariatric surgery in LVAD patients, 30-day MACE was 6.1%, 30-day mortality was <5.5%, and 1-year mortality was 12.6%. Heart failure readmission burden declined after bariatric surgery (incidence rate ratio 0.20 (95% CI 0.11-0.38), p < 0.001). Thirty-seven patients underwent HT after a median of 371 days (IQR 246-575 days), and 13 patients underwent LVAD explant due to recovery. On time-dependent, competing risk, Cox regression, bariatric surgery was associated with a 3-fold higher probability of HT in follow-up compared to patients who did not get bariatric surgery (sub-distribution HR 2.95, 95% CI 2.09-4.17, p < 0.001).
Bariatric surgery in patients with LVAD support is associated with decreased heart failure events and higher chances of heart transplantation.
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Published online: April 09, 2022
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