Obesity Surgery

Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2022 Feb 4;119(5):70-80. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0359.


Background: In 2017, the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥= 30 kg/m2) in Germany was approximately 16%. Obesity increases an individual's risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and arterial hypertension; it also increases overall mortality. Consequently, effective treatment is a necessity. Approximately 20 000 bariatric operations are performed in Germany each year.

Methods: This review is based on pertinent publications retrieved by a selective search in the PubMed and Cochrane databases and on current German clinical practice guidelines.

Results: The types of obesity surgery most commonly performed in Germany, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, lead to an excess weight loss of 27-69% ≥= 10 years after the procedure. In obese patients with T2DM, the diabetes remission rate ≥= 10 years after these procedures ranges from 25% to 62%. Adjusted regression analyses of data from large registries have shown that the incidence of malignancies is 33% lower in persons who have undergone obesity surgery compared to control subjects with obesity (unadjusted incidence 5.6 versus 9.0 cases per 1000 person-years). The operation can cause vitamin deficiency, surgical complications, gastroesophageal reflux, and dumping syndrome. Therefore, lifelong follow-up is necessary.

Conclusion: In view of an increasing number of patients undergoing bariatric surgery, it will probably not be feasible in the future for lifelong follow-up to be provided exclusively in specialized centers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery* / methods
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Gastric Bypass* / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / surgery
  • Obesity, Morbid* / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid* / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome