Post-bariatric Surgery Outcomes and Complications in Patients with Celiac Disease: a Matched Case-Control Study

Maria Daniela Hurtado A, Lizeth Cifuentes, Ruaa Al-Ward, Meera Shah, Joseph A. Murray, Manpreet Mundi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The shift towards an obese phenotype in celiac disease (CD) patients increases risk of morbidity and mortality. Bariatric surgery (BS) is the gold standard treatment for obesity. Few studies have explored the role of BS in patients with CD. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of BS in this population. Material and Methods: This is a retrospective matched case-control (1:5) study of adult patients with confirmed CD who underwent BS at our institution from 1998 to 2018. Demographics, operative data, post-operative outcomes, complications, and nutritional parameters were collected. Results: Seventy-eight patients (mostly Caucasian females) were included. Thirteen had confirmed CD and were compared with 65 controls. The most common type of BS was the RYGB. The percent of total body weight loss (%TWL) was similar for both groups at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months, with the highest weight loss being at 12 months: %TWL 28.4 (20.2–38.4) for CD, n=13; vs. 29.1 (19.6–39.3) for non-CD, n=49; p=0.8. Obesity-associated co-morbidities greatly and comparably improved in both groups. Patients with CD had no complications after BS. Post-BS malodorous and oily stools were more common among patients with CD (23.1% vs. 4.6%, p=0.03). Micronutrient deficiencies were common and comparable among both groups with iron and vitamin D being the most common deficiencies. Gluten-free diet (GFD) non-adherence post-operatively was associated with a higher incidence of post-BS abdominal pain (60.0% vs. 0.0%, p=0.012). Conclusions: BS is safe and effective in patients with CD. Close monitoring is necessary to ensure compliance with GFD and vitamin supplementation. Key points: • Bariatric surgery leads to significant weight loss in celiac disease (CD) patients. • Mid- and long-term weight loss does not differ between patients with and without CD. • Obesity-associated co-morbidities significantly improve after surgery in CD patients. • The incidence of post-surgical complications is not higher in CD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4405-4418
Number of pages14
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Bariatric surgery complications
  • Celiac disease
  • Micronutrient deficiencies
  • Obesity-associated co-morbidities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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