MBSAQIP Bariatric Surgical Risk/Benefit Calculator Frequently Asked Questions

1)  Who should use the MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator? Is this just for surgeons?

The MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator is designed to be used by surgeons, together with their patients, to help inform patients about their individual risk and benefits for surgery. There are parts of the MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator that might be hard for patients to understand without their doctor. The MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator does provide a summary report, designed for patients, that they can take home and share with their family, other physicians, and other individuals involved in their care.

2)  For what patient population is the MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator intended?

The MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator is intended for primary bariatric surgical patients at least 18 years of age with a preoperative BMI between 30 and 80.

3)  How does the MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator work?

Using the MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator, 20 characteristics about a patient (e.g., age, preoperative BMI, sex, health information, etc.) can be quickly entered online. These factors are then put into statistical models in order to predict risk/benefit outcomes for that specific patient. These models are built using data from a large number of operations in the MBSAQIP database. The results of these models show (1) the patient’s risk of having any of 9 different complications within the first 30-days following surgery (2) the patient’s chance of remission at 1 year after surgery for up to 5 different weight-related comorbidities and (3) the patient’s predicted BMI, weight change, and percent Total weight change trajectories up to 1 year after surgery.

4)  What if I don’t know the answer to one of the patient predictors?

The MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator will provide the most precise risk/benefit information when all of the preoperative predictor information is entered. However, if you do not know the answer to one of the fields, you can definitely leave it in the default setting (usually “No” or “Unknown”). The models will estimate the risk/benefits based on all of the entered and default information.

5)  Why aren’t all of the MBSAQIP variables used for the Risk/Benefit Calculator?

The MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit Calculator uses the vast majority of preoperative variables collected by MBSAQIP to predict risk/benefit outcomes. However, some variables (e.g., laboratory values) may not be known to the surgeon at the time of informed consent and shared decision making. In addition, some variables (e.g., previous organ transplant) may have not have been added to the MBSAQIP database until much later in the data period upon which the MBSAQIP Risk/Benefit calculator is based.