- 1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.
- 2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, MN, USA.
- 3Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Background: Obesity is commonly observed in patients with cirrhosis, especially with the increasing prevalence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Bariatric surgery has been avoided in these patients given concerns about increased perioperative risk; therefore, data are lacking regarding long-term outcomes. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the long-term outcomes of patients with cirrhosis who underwent bariatric surgery.
Methods: We reviewed the charts of adult patients with compensated cirrhosis who underwent bariatric surgery after they were prospectively enrolled between February 23, 2009 and November 9, 2011, and followed in a pilot study for evaluation of bariatric surgery outcomes. Only patients with more than 4 years of follow-up were included in the analysis. Data regarding their liver disease, metabolic status, and survival were collected. A descriptive analysis was performed.
Results: The cohort consisted of 10 patients, of whom 7 were females. The median post-surgical follow-up was 8.7 years (± 1.4 years). All patients had biopsy-proven NASH; two patients had concurrent, untreated hepatitis C infection. During the observation period, there was a mean weight loss of 24 kg (19.2% of total body weight pre surgery, P < 0.001) and only one patient regained weight to the baseline pre-surgical measurement. One patient who was not eligible for transplant developed hepatic encephalopathy 3 years after surgery and later died. The remainder of the patients did not have any hepatic decompensation, cardiovascular event, or mortality. Except for one patient with Gilbert syndrome, bilirubin was normal in all patients at last follow-up.
Conclusions: Bariatric surgery in patients with compensated cirrhosis can lead to sustained weight loss and stable hepatic function on long-term follow-up.