Renal transplant in obese patients and impact of weight loss before surgery on surgical and medical outcomes: A single-center cohort study

Anne Elisabeth Heng, Julien Aniort, Bruno Pereira, Fernando Fervenza, Yves Boirie, Mikel Prieto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Previous studies have linked obesity to poor outcomes in renal transplant recipients, prompting many transplant centers to encourage weight loss pretransplant in obese patients. Here, we performed a single-center retrospective study to assess the effects of weight loss on graft and patient outcomes. Materials and Methods: Data from 893 renal transplant recipients at our center from 2007 to 2011 were analyzed. First, renal transplant recipients with a history of obesity before transplant (42%) were compared with nonobese patients. Second, in the obese group, renal transplant recipients with significant weight loss (> 10%) before transplant were compared with other obese renal transplant recipients without significant weight loss. Results: Renal transplant recipients were predom-inantly white, with 74% having undergone living-donor transplant. Obese patients were older (56.6 vs 46.7 y old) and had more comorbidities and more surgical complications, in particular wound complications and incisional hernias, posttransplant than nonobese patients (14.7 vs 5.5%, respectively). Patient and graft survival rates were similar to those in nonobese patients. In the obese group, patient characteristics and medical or surgical complications after transplant did not differ between those with or without significant weight loss. However, obese patient and graft survival rates were lower in patients with weight loss than in obese patients without weight loss. Conclusions: In our study, weight loss before transplant surgery in obese patients had no influence on surgical outcomes but was associated with a higher mortality rate. A prospective assessment of the impact of weight loss before surgery is needed to establish its usefulness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-612
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental and Clinical Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Body mass index
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Obesity
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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