Obesity surgery may resolve liver disease

Scientists have found that overweight patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may benefit from bariatric (obesity) surgery.

NAFLD is becoming an increasing problem as the number of severely overweight people grows.

Obesity surgery has already been shown to help resolve a number of obesity-related complications and the latest study, which appears in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, suggests that it may also help to improve liver disease.

Researchers analysed 15 studies and found that patients who underwent obesity surgery benefited from a reduction of fat in the liver cells and improvements in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a severe condition that can progress to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease.

Lead author Dr Gagan Sood, from the University of Texas Medical Branch, commented: "Even today, the effect of weight loss after bariatric surgery on the liver, particularly NAFLD, remains unclear.

"Our team assessed and quantified this effect and found encouraging news - a majority of patients experience complete resolution of NAFLD after bariatric surgery."

Patients who are considering obesity treatment have a range of options from which to choose, including gastric banding, gastric bypass and gastric balloon.

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