Severe Obesity Contributes to Worse Outcomes After Elective Colectomy for Chronic Diverticular Disease

Paul Yoon, Ganesh Rajasekar, Miriam Nuño, Elizabeth Raskin, Victoria Lyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Both obesity and chronic diverticular disease (DD) are on the rise. Understanding surgical outcomes for patients with obesity undergoing colectomy for DD is imperative to improve care and minimize complications. Our objective was to investigate the impact of obesity on outcomes after elective colectomy specifically for chronic DD. Methods: Using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2012 to 2018, patients who underwent elective colectomy for chronic DD were grouped into four body mass index categories. Baseline characteristics, surgical approach and procedure, and 30-day morbidity and mortality were assessed. Results: Of 24,559 patients, 21.7% were of normal weight, 35.8% were overweight, 35.9% were obese, and 6.6% were severely obese. Patients with severe obesity were younger, more functionally dependent, and had more comorbidities (all P≤ 0.0001). Patients with severe obesity were more likely to have unplanned conversion to open surgery from laparoscopic and robotic approaches (AOR 2.15, 95% CI 1.24–3.70). Obesity class did not significantly affect the type of surgical procedure patients underwent (Hartmann’s, colectomy with anastomosis and diversion, or colectomy with primary anastomosis). There were increased odds of any perioperative complications (AOR 1.43, 95% CI 1.19–1.71) and non-home discharge (AOR 2.39, 95% CI 1.59–3.57) in patients with severe obesity compared to normal weight patients. Conclusions: Obesity is associated with poorer outcomes in patients undergoing elective colectomy for chronic DD. Futures studies to examine the impact of preemptive weight loss to improve outcomes after elective colectomy for chronic sequelae of DD are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Body mass index
  • Chronic diverticular disease
  • Elective surgery
  • National Surgical Quality Improvement Program
  • Severely obese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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