Safety of bariatric surgery in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Obes. 2020 Dec;10(6):e12405. doi: 10.1111/cob.12405. Epub 2020 Sep 2.


The efficacy of bariatric surgery in achieving weight loss and preventing long-term comorbidities such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis is well established. Data regarding safety of bariatric surgery in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is scarce. We attempted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the complications following bariatric surgery in patients with IBD. The primary outcomes evaluated were wound infection, Clavien-Dindo grade > II complications and IBD exacerbation (within 1 year). Secondary outcomes evaluated included overall mortality, stricture, small bowel obstruction, acute kidney injury (AKI) and thromboembolism. Pooled outcomes (event rate) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using random effects model. A total of 14 studies (all observational) with 2608 patients were included. The rates of primary outcomes were: wound infection (4.1%, 95% CI: 0.9-7.2), Clavien-Dindo grade > II complications (2.0%, 95%: CI 0.6-3.5) and IBD exacerbation (4.3%, 95% CI: 0.7-7.9). The pooled rate for other outcomes was: mortality 0.1%, stricture 6.5%, small bowel obstruction 6.7%, AKI 2.2% and thromboembolism 0.1%. Bariatric surgery is relatively safe in patients with IBD and should be pursued to reduce comorbidities associated with obesity. Future comparative studies are needed to further assess the safety of bariatric surgery in population with and without IBD.

Keywords: Crohn's disease; bariatric surgery; inflammatory bowel disease; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery*
  • Crohn Disease / complications
  • Crohn Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome