Background: Metabolic/bariatric procedures for the treatment of morbid obesity, as well as for type 2 diabetes, are among the most commonly performed gastrointestinal operations today, justifying periodic assessment of the numerical status of metabolic/bariatric surgery and its relative distribution of procedures.
Methods: An email questionnaire was sent to the leadership of the 50 nations or national groupings in the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO). Outcome measurements were numbers of metabolic/bariatric operations and surgeons, types of procedures performed, and trends from 2003 to 2008 to 2011 worldwide and in the regional groupings of Europe, USA/Canada, Latin/South America, and Asia/Pacific.
Results: Response rate was 84%. The global total number of procedures in 2011 was 340,768; the global total number of metabolic/bariatric surgeons was 6,705. The most commonly performed procedures were Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) 46.6%; sleeve gastrectomy (SG) 27.8%; adjustable gastric banding (AGB) 17.8%; and biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch (BPD/DS) 2.2%. The global trends from 2003 to 2008 to 2011 showed a decrease in RYGB: 65.1 to 49.0 to 46.6%; an increase, followed by a steep decline, in AGB: 24.4 to 42.3 to 17.8%; and a marked increase in SG: 0.0 to 5.3 to 27.89%. BPD/DS declined: 6.1 to 4.9 to 2.1%. The trends from the four IFSO regions differed, except for the universal increase in SG.
Conclusions: Periodic metabolic/bariatric surgery surveys add to the knowledge and understanding of all physicians caring for morbidly obese patients. The salient message of the 2011 assessment is that SG (0.0% in 2008) has markedly increased in prevalence.