12 Year Data: Pros and Cons with Bariatric Surgery

A recent study (TD Adams et al. NEJM 2017; 377: 1143-55) examines outcomes of bariatric surgery after 12 years.  The ‘skinny’ on this study is that the weight loss/improved metabolic measures associated with bariatric surgery were very durable but there was a small increased risk of suicide among those undergoing bariatric surgery.

In this study, there were three cohorts:

  • Surgery group: 418 patients
  • Nonsurgery group 1: 417 patients. This group had sought surgery but did not receive surgery (often due to insurance coverage)  (147 underwent subsequent surgery)
  • Nonsurgery group 2: 321 patients. This group had not sought surgery (39 underwent subsequent surgery)

Key findings:

  • At 12 yrs, mean change from baseline body weight was -35 kg in surgery group, compared with -2.9 kg in nonsurgery group 1 and 0 kg in nonsurgery group 2
  • Of those with type 2 diabetes in the surgery group, type 2 diabetes remitted in 75% at 2 yrs and remained remitted in 51% at 12 yrs.
  • The surgery group had higher remission rates of hypertension and dyslipidemia as well.
  • 7 deaths by suicide were noted -5 in the surgery group, and 2 in the nonsurgery 1 group but only after the patients had undergone subsequent bariatric surgery

My take: Weight loss and improved metabolic changes at 6 yrs were maintained over the following 6 yrs.  It is troubling that the surgery and/or weight loss is associated with suicide in a small number of patients.

Related blog entries:

1 thought on “12 Year Data: Pros and Cons with Bariatric Surgery

  1. Pingback: Comparing Gastric Bypass Outcomes in Adolescents and Adults | gutsandgrowth

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