Obesity Induced End Stage Liver Disease: An Increasing Indication for Bariatric Surgery

Apr 13, 2017

Obesity Induced End Stage Liver Disease: An Increasing Indication for Bariatric Surgery

In a recent newsletter published by the American College of Surgeons, researchers from Rutgers University presented their analysis of a large volume of data on the benefits of bariatric surgery. In addition to the well-established significant improvements in diabetes, lipid disorders, high blood pressure, and other complications of metabolic disorders, researchers found bariatric surgery to be very effective in treating fatty liver disease. With 90% improvement, bariatric surgery helped prevent the progression of fatty liver disease to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and the inflammatory process that leads to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver decompensation.

This ultimately means a liver transplant is needed. In fact, fatty liver disease is expected to overtake hepatitis C virus as the number one cause of liver transplant within the next 5 years, drawing attention to bariatric surgery as a strategy to control liver disease. Ironically, the rate of liver transplant in people who are morbidly obese is lower in comparison to patients with normal weight. The survival of transplant organs is also negatively affected by continued obesity. The Rutgers group reported that bariatric surgery is already being used at their center to avoid a second liver transplant in obese patients who are unable to lose sufficient weight, preventing progressive fatty liver disease after a patient’s first transplant.

The Rutgers group also showed that the benefits of bariatric surgery include a nearly 40% reduction in liver inflammation, 20% reduction in liver fibrosis, 90% reduction in 10 year mortality, and large improvements in relevant measures of morbidity for more than 10 organ systems. This includes the improvement or resolution of dyslipidemia and hypertension in the circulatory system, asthma and other diseases affecting the respiratory system, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and other diseases that affect the gastrointestinal system.

Bottom line, there is no such thing as a healthy obesity. Fatty liver typically exists even when patients don’t suffer from the usual comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure.

It’s important to have the best, most progressive treatments available to you. Our team at University Bariatrics is experienced and we will help you weigh all your options to determine which procedure will be most effective for you. Come in for a consultation and a personalized weight-loss plan! Call us at (805) 379-9796, visit our website, or register to attend one of our free bariatric surgery seminar, to start your health journey today!