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Morbid obesity does not preclude successful renal transplantation


William M. Bennett, MD, Solid Organ and Cellular Transplantation, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital, 1040 NW 22nd Avenue, Suite 480, Portland, OR 97210-3025, USA.
Tel.: (503) 413-7349; fax: (503) 413-6563;


Abstract:  Many renal transplantation centers arbitrarily deny transplantation to patients with morbid obesity usually defined as body mass index >35. We present a series of 173 primary renal transplant patients in a new transplant program that accepted all recipients with 3 yrs or greater life expectancy and no active malignancy or infection. When the patient outcomes are divided into groups by body mass index, it can be seen as expected that patients with body mass index >30 have an increased prevalence of wound infections (p < 0.05). However, aside from this complication there are no statistically significant outcome differences between the three groups realizing the possibility of type II statistical error because of small numbers. Graft survival, patient survival and other surgical complications are the same in all groups regardless of body mass index. At the end of the 3-yr interval with a minimum transplant follow-up of 3 months, 169 of 173 patients were alive and 163 of 173 transplants were functioning. Based on our experience, morbid obesity should not be used to exclude patients arbitrarily from transplantation anymore than advanced age or diabetes should.