Bariatric Surgery Approaches Reduce Fatty Liver Disease

February 22, 2022

Investigators previously showed that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) was superior to sleeve gastrectomy for type 2 diabetes remission. In a recent secondary analysis of trial data, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, both bariatric surgery approaches were highly effective for reducing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The trial included 100 patients in Norway with type 2 diabetes and obesity who were randomly assigned to undergo either gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery.

Both procedures led to substantial reduction in hepatic steatosis at 5 weeks and an almost complete clearance of liver fat 1 year after surgery. All patients in the RYGB group and 94% in the sleeve gastrectomy group had no or low-grade steatosis.

The liver fibrosis findings were less conclusive. Enhanced liver fibrosis test scores increased for 69% of patients and 1 in 5 patients progressed to a higher grade of fibrosis.

Further research is warranted on long-term fibrosis progression or regression. The researchers will observe participants for an additional 5 years.