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Bariatric Surgery for the Long-Term Treatment of Obesity: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness

Last updated: July 20, 2016
Project Number: RC0789-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What is the long-term clinical effectiveness of bariatric surgery for the treatment of obesity and morbid obesity?
  2. What is the long-term cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery for the treatment of obesity and morbid obesity?

Key Message

At five years follow-up, bariatric surgeries lead to a statistically significant reduction in weight, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI) as compared to medical treatment in patients with morbid obesity. Evidence from cost evaluation studies showed that bariatric surgery is more cost-effective than conventional treatment in patients with morbid obesity over a life time horizon. Despite higher inpatient costs leading to higher total healthcare costs at 15 years, there was no difference in total healthcare costs in the subgroup of patients with diabetes, with savings mainly driven in reduced costs of diabetes drugs.