With obesity becoming a chronic health condition affecting millions globally, bariatric surgery has emerged as a viable treatment option for individuals with morbid obesity when other interventions are unsuccessful. Despite the growing trend of these surgical treatments, the in-depth understanding of their long-term impact on body composition remains somewhat obscure. A study titled “Evolution of body composition of obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery,” published in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, provides insightful findings in this field. In this article, we will delve into the results of this groundbreaking study, exploring the dynamics of weight evolution and body composition changes in obese patients following bariatric surgery.


1. Bariatric Surgery
2. Body Composition
3. Weight Loss
4 .Obesity Treatment
5. Gastric Bypass

Background and Study Objective

The prevalence of morbid obesity is rising at an alarming rate, posing significant health threats such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and increased mortality. Bariatric surgery stands as an effective intervention for sustainable weight loss and the improvement of obesity-related comorbidities. However, a holistic understanding of how various types of bariatric surgery impact body composition over time is crucial for optimizing patient outcomes. This study, conducted by Silva et al., aimed to investigate the evolution of weight and body composition in obese patients post-surgery.


Drawing from retrospective and prospective data, researchers examined 793 patients who attended nutritional consultations at Centro Hospitalar São João E.P.E. The patient cohort, predominantly female (86.5%), with a mean age of 43 years and average height of 1.62m, underwent different surgical procedures – gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass. The team tracked their body mass index (BMI) and other anthropometric measurements from pre-surgery up to 60 months following the operation.

DOI: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2019.02.002


The research outcomes revealed that gastric bypass led to the most profound changes in body composition, closely followed by sleeve gastrectomy, and then gastric band. All patients exhibited a considerable initial decrease in BMI, indicative of substantial weight loss. However, a noteworthy observation was the pattern of weight and body composition reversion after 24 months across all surgical methods. This reversion underscores the complexity and challenges in maintaining long-term weight and fat loss after bariatric surgery.


Understanding the Changes and Their Implications
The initial weight loss and body composition changes post-bariatric surgery can be dramatic. Fat mass reduction, lean muscle maintenance, and overall improvement in the patient’s metabolic profile are evident. Yet, the mid- to long-term sustainability of these outcomes comes into question with the observed reversion trends. This study provokes a deeper discussion on the necessity for ongoing lifestyle management, continuous nutritional counseling, and personalized follow-up strategies to preserve the benefits achieved through surgery.

Clinical Implications

Long-Term Success Post-Bariatric Surgery
For healthcare professionals, the study by Silva et al. serves as a reminder of the critical need for a comprehensive approach to post-operative care. The importance of multidisciplinary teams, including nutritionists, psychologists, and physical therapists, becomes apparent, as the maintenance of weight loss necessitates more than just surgical intervention. It demonstrates the importance of behavioral modification, dietary adjustments, and regular physical activity as integral components of post-bariatric surgery care.

Additional Considerations and Future Research

Avenues for Improved Patient Outcomes
The study leaves room for future research, especially on the psychological and socio-economic factors impacting the long-term success of bariatric surgery patients. It also sheds light on potential improvements in surgical techniques and adjunctive therapies that may enhance the durability of weight loss and favorable body composition changes.


Evidence for a Multidisciplinary Post-Operative Approach
Silva et al.’s research elucidates the critical stages of body composition evolution in the obese population undergoing bariatric surgery, with significant implications for clinical practice and patient education. It stresses the necessity for ongoing, comprehensive post-surgical support to prevent weight regain and ensure sustained health improvement.


1. Silva, L. B., Oliveira, B. M. P. M., & Correia, F. (2019). Evolution of body composition of obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, 31, 95–99.

2. Buchwald, H., Avidor, Y., Braunwald, E., et al. (2004). Bariatric surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 292(14), 1724-1737.

3. Maggard, M. A., Shugarman, L. R., Suttorp, M., et al. (2005). Meta-analysis: surgical treatment of obesity. Ann Intern Med, 142(7), 547-559.

4. O’Brien, P. E., Hindle, A., Brennan, L., et al. (2019). Long-term Outcomes After Bariatric Surgery: Fifteen-Year Follow-Up of Adjustable Gastric Banding and a Systematic Review of the Bariatric Surgical Literature. Ann Surg, 257(1), 87-94.

5. Sjöström, L., Peltonen, M., Jacobson, P., et al. (2012). Bariatric surgery and long-term cardiovascular events. JAMA, 307(1), 56-65.

This thorough review of the evolution of body composition following bariatric surgery offers invaluable insights for healthcare professionals and patients alike. It advocates for a multidimensional strategy in managing weight loss after bariatric procedures, emphasizing the critical role of integrative post-operative care. The meticulous analysis of Silva et al.’s study and related literature manifests the importance of a collaborative effort in addressing the obesity epidemic and enhancing the quality of life for individuals undergoing these transformative procedures.

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Last Update: February 2, 2024