Is Bariatric Surgery Safe and Effective in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Nicholas P. McKenna, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Alaa Sada, Todd A. Kellogg, Travis J. McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The rate of obesity is rapidly increasing in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but whether bariatric surgery in patients with IBD is safe and effective is not well understood. Methods: A retrospective review of patients with IBD undergoing bariatric surgery across a multi-state health system was performed. Thirty-day postoperative outcomes, weight loss, and long-term complications were recorded. Results: Thirty-one patients (81% female) with IBD and a mean preoperative body mass index (BMI) of 42.4 kg/m2 underwent 32 bariatric operations (n = 14 Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, n = 14 sleeve gastrectomy, n = 4 gastric band). Short-term infectious complications included superficial surgical site infection (n = 2), infected intra-abdominal hematoma (n = 1), and a hepatic abscess (n = 1). Percent excess weight loss was 57.2% (n = 25) at 6 months, 62.9% (n = 22) at 12 months, and 57.4% (n = 11) at 24 months. No IBD flares requiring surgery were observed at a median follow-up of 2.7 years (interquartile range, 0.8–4.2 years). Conclusion: In carefully selected patients with IBD, bariatric surgery appears safe with respect to short-term infectious complications and results in sustained weight loss until at least 2 years postoperatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-888
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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