Bariatric surgery: the indications in metabolic disease

Type Article

Journal Article


K. J. Neff; C. W. le Roux

Year of publication



Dig Surg








As well as the pronounced effect on body mass index (BMI), bariatric surgery is increasingly recognized as being associated with improvements in morbidity and mortality in a range of conditions, from airways disease to cancer. In metabolic disease, the impact of bariatric surgery is particularly obvious with marked improvements in glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, to the point of effecting diabetes remission in some. Hypertension and dyslipidemia, key components of the metabolic syndrome, also respond to bariatric surgery. Despite the increasing evidence of benefit in metabolic disease, the major national guidelines for selecting candidates for bariatric surgery retain their emphasis on body weight. In these guidelines, a BMI ≥35 kg/m(2) is needed to indicate surgery, even in those with profound metabolic disturbance. The recent International Diabetes Federation guidelines have identified the need to reorientate our focus from BMI to metabolic disease. In this review, we examine the developing indications for the use of bariatric surgery in metabolic disease. We will focus on type 2 diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome. Within this, we will outline the data for using bariatric surgery as metabolic surgery, including those with a BMI