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Obes Surg. 2010 Jul;20(7):871-5. doi: 10.1007/s11695-010-0109-z.

Effect of weight loss on aerobic capacity in patients with severe obesity before and after bariatric surgery.

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Department of Physical Therapy, Londrina State University, Rua Robert Koch, 60 Vila Operária, 86038-440 Londrina, Paraná, Brazil.


Severe obesity has been associated with adverse effects on physical capacity. In a prospective study, the aerobic capacity of severely obese patients was measured in order to observe the physiological response to weight loss from bariatric surgery. Sixty-five consecutive patients (40.4 +/- 8.4 years old; 93.8% female; body mass index = 49.4 +/- 5.4 kg/m(2)) were evaluated before bariatric surgery and then 6 and 12 months after surgery. Aerobic capacity was assessed with a scientific treadmill to measure maximal oxygen consumption (VO(2max)), heart rate, blood pressure, time on the treadmill, and distance walked (modified Bruce test). For the three observational periods, VO(2max) was 25.4 +/- 9.3, 29.8 +/- 8.1, and 36.7 +/- 8.3 ml/kg/min; time on the treadmill was 5.4 +/- 1.4, 6.4 +/- 1.6, and 8.8 +/- 1.0 min; and distance walked was 401.8 +/- 139.1, 513.4 +/- 159.9, and 690.5 +/- 76.2 m. For these variables, significant results (p = 0.0000) were observed for the two postoperative periods in relation to the preoperative period. Severely obese individuals increased their aerobic capacity after successful bariatric surgery. The data also suggests that a positive and progressive relationship between weight loss and improvement in fitness as a moderate loss of weight 6 months after surgery already showed some benefit and an additional reduction in weight was associated with a better performance in the aerobic capacity tests at the 12-month follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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