bariatric surgery

Patients Breathe Easier After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is associated with significant improvements in overall lung function in patients with morbid obesity, according to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis.

Previous studies have suggested that morbid obesity negatively affects several body systems, including the cardiovascular, hepatobiliary, endocrine, and mental health systems. However, the impact of morbid obesity on the pulmonary system and pulmonary function is currently unclear.

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For their analysis, the researchers assessed 1013 patients in 23 studies that had examined the effects of bariatric surgery on pulmonary function. Of these studies, 8 had evaluated intervention and control groups with different time points, while 15 had evaluated matched groups with different time points. Patient data were obtained via PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase databases from inception to September 30, 2016.

A random-effects model was used to determine pooled effect estimates. Cochran’s Q test was used to conduct a heterogeneity test.

Results indicated that overall pulmonary function scores had significantly improved following bariatric surgery, with a pooled standardized mean difference of 0.59.

Subgroup analysis and univariate meta-regression indicated that factors including study quality, age, pre-surgery body mass index (BMI), post-surgery BMI, study design, female studies only, study continent, asthmatic patients in the study, and the type of bariatric surgery had not resulted in any statistically significant differences between groups.

Furthermore, these results had not changed in the multivariate meta-regression model, which had been adjusted simultaneously for the same factors.

“This meta-analysis shows that bariatric surgery significantly improved overall pulmonary functions score for morbid obesity,” the researchers concluded.

—Christina Vogt


Alsumali A, Al-Hawag A, Bairdain S, Eguale T. The impact of bariatric surgery on pulmonary function: a meta-analysis [Published online October 2, 2017]. Surg Obes Rel Dis.