Bariatric surgery and liver disease: General considerations and role of the gut–liver axis

Maria Cerreto, Francesco Santopaolo, Antonio Gasbarrini, Maurizio Pompili, Francesca Romana Ponziani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Weight loss is a therapeutic solution for many metabolic disorders, such as obesity and its complications. Bariatric surgery aims to achieve lasting weight loss in all patients who have failed after multiple dietary attempts. Among its many benefits, it has been associated with the regression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is often associated with obesity, with evidence of substantial improvement in tissue inflammation and fibrosis. These benefits are mediated not only by weight loss, but also by favorable changes in systemic inflammation and in the composition of the gut microbiota. Changes in microbial metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), capable of acting as endocrine mediators, and bile acids (BAs) as well as modifications of the gut-brain axis, are among the involved mechanisms. However, not all bariatric surgeries show beneficial effects on the liver; those leading to malabsorption can cause liver failure or a marked worsening of fibrosis and the development of cirrhosis. Nevertheless, there are still many unclear aspects, includ-ing the extent of the benefits and the magnitude of the risks of bariatric surgery in cirrhotic patients. In addition, the usefulness and the safety of these procedures in patients who are candidates to or who have undergone liver transplant need solid supporting evidence. This paper aims to review literature data on the use of bariatric surgery in the setting of chronic liver disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2649-2649
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cirrhosis
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Gut microbiota
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Liver
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Liver Diseases
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Liver transplant
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Obesity
  • Weight Loss


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