bariatric surgery

Could Testosterone Therapy Replace Bariatric Surgery?

In severely obese, hypogonadal men, testosterone replacement therapy could be an effective alternative for attaining long-term weight loss to bariatric surgery, according to a recent presentation by Farid Saad, PhD, a researcher at Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals in Berlin.

In a retrospective analysis, researchers evaluated 46 hypogonadal men (from 2 prospective registries) with grade III obesity, a total testosterone of 12.1 nmol.l or less, and testosterone deficient symptoms. The participants all had a BMI of 40 kg/m2 or more, which indicated the need for bariatric surgery.
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Researchers administered 1000 mg of testosterone undecannoate from intramuscular injection after every 12 weeks for a 6-year duration.

The study showed that the average body mass index of participants decreased from 41.9 to 33.6 kg/m2 over the course of injections.  Further, the mean body weight fell from 129 to 103 kg, and the average weight circumference wanted from 118.4 cm at baseline to 106.5 cm.

Saad noted that weight loss increased over time for the participants.  After 1 year individuals showed a 2.7% decrease in body weight, a 7.3% reduction after 2 years, 10.9% after 3 years, 14.1% after 4 years, 17.5% after 5 years, and a 20.8% reduction in body weight after 6 years of testosterone treatment.

The complete analysis was presented at the joint meeting of the 2014 International Congress of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society.

-Michelle Canales


Saad F. Excessively obese hypogonadal experience substantial and sustatined weight loss upon long-term treatment with testosterone undecanoate (TU) injections: observational data from two registry studies. Abstract SAT-0941. Presented at: The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting & Expo; June 21-24 2014; Chicago, IL.