Readmissions and emergency department visits after bariatric surgery at Saudi Arabian Hospital: The rates, reasons, and risk factors

Anwar Ahmed*, Doaa Alburaikan, Bashayr Almuqbil, Wijdan Aljohi, Wala Alanazi, Budor Alrasheed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Saudi Arabian hospital readmissions and emergency department (ED) visits following bariatric surgery and discharge have never been investigated. This study aimed to evaluate the rates and reasons of hospital readmissions and ED visits related to surgical weight loss interventions at the King Abdulaziz Medical City - Riyadh. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study on 301 patients who underwent bariatric surgery between January 2011 and July 2016. We reviewed patient medical records progressively to assess hospital readmission, ED visits, and complications. Results: Of the 301 patients analyzed, 67.1% were female and 93% had class II obesity. The readmission rate, ED visit rate after discharge and the rate of either of the two was 8%, 14%,and 18.3%, respectively. The most common causes of readmission were abdominal pain (37.5%), nausea/vomiting (29.2%), and site leak (25%), while the most common causes of ED visits were abdominal pain (59.5%) and nausea/vomiting (16.9%). Readmission rates tended to be higher in older patients (age of patients readmitted 42 ± 12.1 years vs. age of patients not readmitted 34.3 ± 11.8 years; p = 0.002). The rate of readmission tends to increase in patients with overweight or class I obesity (odds ratio (OR) = 20.15), diabetes (OR = 14.82), and obstructive sleep apnea (OR = 14.29). Dyslipidemia was positively associated with ED visits (p = 0.027, OR = 2.87). The rate of readmission or ED visits increased with age, while there were decreases in readmission and ED visits for those who had received gastric sleeve surgery. Conclusions: The study reported high rates of readmission and ED visits, thus the effectiveness of different types of weight loss surgeries should be further evaluated, particularly in individuals with complicated medical issues such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • ED visits
  • Gastric sleeve surgery
  • Obesity
  • Readmission


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