Obesity Surgery

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 569–579 | Cite as

Trends in Drain Utilization in Bariatric Surgery: an Analysis of the MBSAQIP Database 2015–2017

  • Benjamin ClappEmail author
  • Carlos Lodeiro
  • Christopher Dodoo
  • Ginger Coleman
  • Babak Sadri
  • Ellen Wicker
  • Ira L. Swinney
  • Robert Cullen
  • Alan Tyroch
Original Contributions



Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) are the two most common bariatric operations. With the implementation of enhanced recovery protocols, the use of drains should decrease.


The Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program database was queried for the years 2015–2017. Our inclusion criteria included all patients undergoing a primary LRYGB, SG, and revisions. We examined demographics, operative characteristics, the use of drains, and postoperative complications. Continuous variables were summarized using means and standard deviations (SD). Categorical variables were summarized using frequencies and proportions. Student’s T test (Wilcoxon sum rank test in the case of skewed data) and chi-squared analysis were used to assess the baseline differences in drain utilization.


From 2015 to 2017, there were 388,239 bariatric cases performed without drains and 100,221 performed with drains. Twenty-nine percent of LRYGB patients had a drain placed but only 16.7% of SG patients. The percentage of LRYGB that had a drain dropped from 33.1 to 24.6% during the study period and that of SG dropped from 20.3 to 13.6%. Patients that had drains placed were more likely to have a provocative test at the time of surgery (prevalence ratio (PR) 2.24) and to have a postoperative swallow study (PR 1.93).


Drains are still commonly used in bariatric patients. Over the study period, there was a decrease in the use of drains in both bypass and sleeve patients. Patients with a drain were more likely to have had a provocative test and a swallow study and have a higher rate of complications and mortality.


Abdominal drains MBSAQIP Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Bariatric surgery 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 19.4 kb)
11695_2019_4215_MOESM2_ESM.docx (24 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 23.6 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryTexas Tech HSC Paul Foster School of MedicineEl PasoUSA

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