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Obes Surg. 2014 May;24(5):705-11. doi: 10.1007/s11695-013-1159-9.

Long-term improvements in pulmonary function 5 years after bariatric surgery.

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Department of Morbid Obesity and Bariatric Surgery, Department of Endocrinology, Obesity and Preventive Medicine, Medical Clinic, Oslo University Hospital, Aker, PO Box 4950, Nydalen, 0424, Oslo, Norway,



Obesity is associated with reduced pulmonary function. We evaluated pulmonary function and status of asthma and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) before and 5 years after bariatric surgery.


Spirometry was performed at baseline and 5 years postoperatively. Information of asthma and OSAS were recorded. Of 113 patients included, 101 had undergone gastric bypass, 10 duodenal switch and 2 sleeve gastrectomy.


Eighty (71%) patients were women, mean preoperative age was 40 years and preoperative weight was 133 kg in women and 158 kg in men. Five years postoperatively, weight reduction was 31% (42 kg; p < 0.001) in women and 24% (38 kg; p < 0.001) in men. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) increased 4.1% (116 ml; p < 0.001) in women and 6.7% (238 ml; p = 0.003) in men. Forced vital capacity (FVC) increased 5.8% (209 ml; p < 0.001) in women and 7.6% (349 ml; p < 0.001) in men. Gender and weight loss were independently associated with the improvements in FEV1 and FVC. At follow-up, FEV1 had increased 36% of the difference towards the estimated normal FEV1, and there was a corresponding 70% recovery of FVC. These improvements occurred despite an expected decline in pulmonary function by age during the study period. Of the asthmatics and OSAS patients, 48 and 80%, respectively, were without symptoms 5 years postoperatively.


Pulmonary function measured with spirometry was significantly improved 5 years after bariatric surgery, despite an expected age-related decline during this period. Symptoms of asthma and OSAS also improved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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