Long-term Risks and Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Bruce M. Wolfe, M.D., of the Oregon Health and Science University, Portland and Steven H. Belle, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, discuss the research challenges presented for determining long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery. They write that “metabolic/bariatric surgery offers the potential to address the morbidity and mortality of the obesity epidemic, but important research questions remain unresolved.

No single study or research model will successfully address all of these questions. The substantial resources required for a clinical trial large enough with enough follow-up to address important research questions may be impractical, so extending follow-up of well-characterized and established cohorts, potentially with linkage to other data resources, may be the best hope to obtain the information needed to address long-term risks and benefits of bariatric surgery.”