Immediate postoperative of bariatric surgery in the intensive care unit versus an inpatient unit. A retrospective study with 828 patients

ABSTRACT Objective: To compare the incidence of complications and the duration of hospitalization of patients undergoing bariatric surgery admitted to the intensive care unit or a post-surgical hospitalization unit. Methods: This retrospective observational study included 828 patients admitted between January 2010 and February 2015 during the immediate postoperative period of bariatric surgery in a hospital. Data were collected via electronic medical records. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare continuous variables, and the chi-square was used to compare categorical variables. Results: Patients in both groups had similar demographic characteristics, with no significant differences in anthropometric data and comorbidities. There was no significant difference in the comparison of complications between the two groups. However, the group admitted to the intensive care unit had longer hospitalization times (median of 3 days versus 2 days, p < 0.05), and hospital costs were 8% higher. Conclusion: The present study found no benefit in the routine admittance of patients to the intensive care unit after undergoing bariatric surgery. This practice increased hospitalization time and hospital costs, which wasted resources. It is necessary to create objective criteria to identify patients requiring intensive care unit admission after bariatric surgery.