Inflammatory Bowel Disease Is Not a Contraindication for Bariatric Surgery

Aelfers S1, Janssen IMC2, Aarts EO2, Smids C2, Groenen MJ2, Berends FJ2. Obes Surg. 2017 Dec 27. doi: 10.1007/s11695-017-3076-9. [Epub ahead of print]
Author information

1 Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, 6815 AD, Gelderland, Netherlands. stephanieaelfers@hotmail.com.

2 Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, 6815 AD, Gelderland, Netherlands.


BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are listed as a contraindication for bariatric surgery in various guidelines due to a theoretical higher complication risk. Therefore, little is known about safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery in IBD patients.

AIM: We assessed the safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery and postoperative quality of life (QoL) in IBD patients.

SETTING: The study was conducted in a large peripheral hospital in the Netherlands.

METHODS: All IBD patients who underwent bariatric surgery in our facility were included. Complications, mortality, reoperations, and micronutrient deficiencies were analyzed. Weight loss was assessed 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery. Postoperative QoL was assessed using a disease-specific Inflammatory BowelDisease Questionnaire (IBDQ).

RESULTS: Forty-five patients were included in this study, all diagnosed with IBD (16 ulcerative colitis (UC) and 29 Crohn's disease (CD)) prior to bariatric surgery. Bariatric procedures included Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, and revisional surgery. There was no mortality in the entire follow-up period and there were no major perioperative complications. Two major complications in two CD patients occurred during follow-up, gastro-enterostomy bleeding and pyelonephritis with secondary pancreatitis. Mean percentage (± SD) of overall excess weight loss (%EWL) and total body weight loss (%TBWL), 12 months after surgery, were 62.9 ± 27.1 and 26.2 ± 10.6%, respectively. Twenty-four months postoperatively, mean overall %EWL and %TBWL were similar for both UC and CD patients and were 62.9 ± 31.0 and 26.6 ± 12.2, respectively. Mean Bariatric Analysis and Reporting Outcome System (BAROS) score was 3.34 ± 2.42. Median total IBDQ score was 170.8 (min. 77; max. 218). Both scores did not differ significantly between UC and CD patients.

CONCLUSION: As bariatric procedures appear safe and effective in this CU and CD population, one could question why bariatric surgery is contraindicated in the patients. Nevertheless, close lifelong monitoring to assure safety and a favorable outcome remains essential.

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