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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2005 Mar-Apr;1(2):77-80.

Effective treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



Many women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are overweight. This study investigated the impact of weight loss surgery on the clinical manifestations of this disorder in morbidly obese women with PCOS-a major risk factor for the development of heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes.


We reviewed the outcomes of women diagnosed with PCOS who had undergone weight loss surgery at the University of Pittsburgh between July 1997 and November 2001. We evaluated the changes in menstrual cycles, hirsutism, infertility, and type II diabetes.


A total of 24 women with PCOS were included in the study. Their mean age was 34 +/- 9.7 years. The mean preoperative body weight was 306 +/- 44 lb, with a body mass index of 50 +/- 7.5. All patients were oligomenorrheic. Of the 24 patients, 23 were hirsute. All women underwent elective laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. The mean follow-up period was 27.5 +/- 16 months. The mean excess weight loss at 1 year of follow-up was 56.7% +/- 21.2%. All women resumed normal menstrual cycles after a mean of 3.4 +/- 2.1 months postoperatively. Of the 23 women with hirsutism, 12 (52%) had complete resolution at a mean follow-up of 8 +/- 2.3 months, 6 (25%) had moderate resolution at a mean of 21 +/- 18 months, and 3 had minimal resolution at 34 +/- 14 months. Two women reported no change in their hirsutism at 32 +/- 7 months. Five women were able to conceive after surgery without the use of clomiphene.


Gastric bypass surgery and its consequent weight loss results in significant improvement of multiple clinical problems related to PCOS.

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