Can Bariatric Surgery help you Live Longer?

There is no question that morbid obesity reduces life span, but can weight loss surgery reverse this trend?

Data on this question has been accumulating for many years observing long terms results after a range of bariatric operations. 

A 2021 study examined 17 of the most important publications on long terms survival after bariatric surgery incorporating a total of 174,772 patients.  (1)

Bariatric surgery conferred an average increase in life expectancy of 6.1 years compared to obese patients who had not had surgery.  This increase in life expectancy was more so for diabetic patients.

The graph below shows estimated deaths rates for obese patients undertaking bariatric surgery versus those who did not over a period of up to 30 years.

Can Bariatric Surgery help you Live Longer? 


 At 20 years the risk of death from any cause was 8.8% in the bariatric surgery group versus 20% in the group that did not undertake surgery.



Given the overwhelming data on longevity currently available there can be no doubt that bariatric surgery improves life span on average for obese individuals and especially diabetics.



1.  Syn NL, Cummings DE, Wang LZ, Lin DJ, Zhao JJ, Loh M, et al. Association of metabolic-bariatric surgery with long-term survival in adults with and without diabetes: a one-stage meta-analysis of matched cohort and prospective controlled studies with 174 772 participants. The Lancet. 2021;1(10287):1830-41.

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