Weight-loss bariatric surgery is safe for chronic kidney disease patients who are obese, according to a new Emory University study.
Researchers, writing in the Journal of the American Society Nephrology, said the study is the largest of its kind to find no negative impacts of the surgery on kidney patients' health.
To reach their conclusions, Dr. Nicole Turgeon and colleagues at Emory’s School of Medicine analyzed health records for 27,736 patients who underwent weight-loss surgery between 2006 and 2008.
The researchers found that patients with more severe kidney disease experienced more complications following surgery, but they were very rare – well under 10 percent.
"This work provides strong evidence that it is safe to proceed with bariatric surgery in kidney failure patients who suffer from obesity," said Sweeney.
Researchers noted the findings are significant because maintaining weight loss is challenging for many kidney disease patients, who have difficulty exercising. Obesity can limit kidney patients' eligibility for kidney transplants.