Tipping the Scales: Liver Transplant Outcomes of the Super Obese

Jose Alvarez, Xioanon Mei, Michael Daily, Malay Shah, Alla Grigorian, Jonathan Berger, Francesc Marti, Roberto Gedaly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: We aim to study outcomes in liver transplant recipients with body mass index (BMI) ≥50 using the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. Methods: We reviewed patients undergoing liver transplantation recorded in the UNOS database from 1988 to 2013. Of 104,250 liver transplant procedures, 123 were performed on super obese patients. Results: Sixty-four percent of the super obese patients are female (64 %) and had a mean age 47 years (20–71). The mean BMI was 53.5 (50–72.86) and 16 % had diabetes. The mean Model for End-Stage Disease (MELD) score at transplant was 29.1 (6–53). It was found that BMI ≥50 increased 1.6-fold the risk of death within 30 days after liver transplantation. Graft failure was increased by 52 % and overall mortality was by 62 %. A 1:1 propensity score-matched analysis demonstrated that patients with BMI <50 have significantly better graft and overall patient survival than the super obese. Conclusions: Overall, our data shows that BMI ≥50 is an independent predictor of perioperative mortality and graft and overall patient survival. Further studies are necessary to better understand predictors of outcomes in super obese patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1628-1635
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.


  • Liver transplantation
  • Outcomes
  • Super obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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