Biochemical consequences of bariatric surgery for extreme clinical obesity

Ann Clin Biochem. 2016 Jan;53(Pt 1):21-31. doi: 10.1177/0004563215588116. Epub 2015 May 6.


Obesity, defined as a body mass index over 30 kg/m(2) for adults, poses a major healthcare challenge with important economic, personal and social consequences. Although public health measures, lifestyle change and pharmacological therapies have an important role in the management of obesity, patients with established morbid obesity (body mass index over 40 kg/m(2)) may also require bariatric surgery. Bariatric or metabolic surgery is associated with effective and enduring weight loss but is also known to improve glucose homeostasis, blood pressure and dyslipidaemia. Patients who have bariatric surgery need lifelong clinical follow-up to identify and prevent nutritional deficiencies and other complications. Clinical biochemistry laboratories have an important role in the nutritional assessment of obese patients and in the identification of complications following bariatric surgery. The aim of this article is to review the different bariatric procedures available and to summarize their complications, especially nutrient deficiencies and those of particular relevance to clinical biochemistry laboratories.

Keywords: Nutrition; clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / metabolism
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome