Semin Liver Dis 2004; 24(4): 371-379
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-860866
Copyright © 2004 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Effects of Weight Loss Surgeries on Liver Disease

George L. Blackburn1 , 2 , Edward C. Mun2
  • 1S. Daniel Abraham Associate Professor of Nutrition, Associate Director of Nutrition, Division of Nutrition Harvard Medical School
  • 2Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
16 December 2004 (online)


Obesity is the single most significant risk factor for the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in children and adults. NALFD is estimated to occur in 30 to 100% of obese adults, and in ∼53% of obese children. The majority of obese patients have ultrasonographic evidence of fatty liver; 30% have histologically documented nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Up to 25% of patients with NASH may progress to cirrhosis. In the United States, an estimated 65% of adults are overweight and 31% are obese. Between 2001 and 2002, the number of people with severe obesity, who are more than 100 pounds overweight, rose to nearly 11 million. Since 1970, levels of childhood and teen overweight have climbed to ∼16% in those aged 6 to 19 years. Recent findings indicate that key features of NAFLD and NASH improve or resolve dramatically with weight loss. This article discusses weight loss surgeries and their effects on liver disease.


George L Blackburn, M.D. 

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215