The history of metabolic and bariatric surgery: Development of standards for patient safety and efficacy

Metabolism. 2018 Feb;79:97-107. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2017.12.010. Epub 2018 Jan 5.


Weight loss surgery, also referred to as bariatric surgery, has been in existence since the 1950's. Over the decades, it has been demonstrated to successfully achieve meaningful and sustainable weight loss in a large number of patients who undergo these procedures. Additionally, the benefits observed across a number of metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia, are often to a degree, independent of the weight loss, thus the term "metabolic bariatric surgery (MBS)" has become a better descriptor. Throughout its long history, MBS has evolved from an era of high morbidity and mortality to one of laudable safety despite the high-risk nature of the patients undergoing these major gastrointestinal procedures. This article will describe the historic evolution of MBS and concentrate on those events that were instrumental in reducing the morbidity of these operations.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Metabolic and bariatric surgery; Metabolic surgery; Patient safety; Procedure efficacy.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bariatric Medicine / history
  • Bariatric Medicine / standards*
  • Bariatric Surgery / history
  • Bariatric Surgery / standards*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome*