Bariatric Surgery and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: a Propensity Score-Matched Analysis

Basile Njei, Thomas R. McCarty, Prabin Sharma, Andrew Lange, Nilofar Najafian, Julius N. Ngu, Valmy E. Ngomba, Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The association between obesity and rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the USA has been documented; however, the role of bariatric surgery remains less clear. Aim: To evaluate the cross-sectional association of prior-bariatric surgery and HCC. Methods: The United States Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database was queried from 2004 to 2014 for discharges with a diagnosis of morbid obesity. Primary outcomes of interest were HCC and in-hospital mortality rate. Secondary outcomes were length of stay and cost. Baseline characteristics were balanced using propensity score matching (PSM). Using Poisson and logistic regressions, adjusted HCC prevalence ratio (PR) and mortality odds ratio (OR) were derived in patients with prior-bariatric surgery compared to those without bariatric surgery. Results: Of the 2,881,414 patients included in our study, 267,082 (9.3%) underwent bariatric surgery. From 2004 to 2014, there was a threefold increase in age-adjusted prevalence of HCC from 27 per 100,000 to 72 per 100,000 (PTrend< 0.001). After PSM, 230,956 patients with prior-bariatric surgery were matched with 230,956 patients without bariatric surgery. Prior-bariatric surgery was associated with lower prevalence of HCC (PR 0.11; 95% CI, 0.03–0.48; P < 0.001). In-hospital mortality was also lower for patients with surgery (OR 0.22; 95% CI, 0.20–0.26; P < 0.001). The occurrence of HCC added $18,840 extra cost, increased mean length of stay by 2 (95% CI; 1–3) days, and increased risk of death by 65% (aOR 1.65; 95% CI 1.18–2.29). Conclusion: In this nationwide study of morbidly obese patients, prior-bariatric surgery was associated with a lower prevalence of HCC and lower in-patient mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3880-3889
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Bariatric Surgery and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: a Propensity Score-Matched Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this