Weight-loss surgery can reduce liver damage
USF study shows reversal of early-stage liver fibrosis after bariatric surgery
Chicago, IL (May 4, 2014) — Bariatric surgery, which is best known for its ability to help patients lose substantial weight, can also result in significant improvement in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week. Researchers at the University of South Florida -Tampa found that bariatric surgery resolved liver inflammation and reversed early-stage liver fibrosis, the thickening and scarring of liver tissue, by reducing fat deposits in the liver.
“About 30 percent of the U.S. population suffers from this disease, which is increasing, and more than half are also severely obese,” said the study’s lead researcher Michel Murr, MD, professor of surgery at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and director of Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Bariatric Center. “Our findings suggest that providers should consider bariatric surgery as the treatment of choice for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in severely obese patients.”
Dr. Murr and his colleagues suggest that bariatric surgery be considered for patients with a body mass index greater than 35 and obesity-related co-morbidities, or a body mass index of greater than 40. They note that traditional interventions, such as medications, have a low success rate with these patients.
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