How does bariatric surgery impact diabetic retinopathy?

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This study sought to determine the impact of bariatric surgery on diabetic retinopathy compared to medical treatment.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, 14 studies comparing diabetic retinopathy in patients undergoing bariatric surgery to medical management, were included. The 14 studies were comprised of 110,300 surgical patients and 252,289 control patients.

There was a statistically significantly lower post-operative prevalence of all diabetic retinopathy and sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy in patients undergoing surgery.

In patients with severe diabetic retinopathy, early worsening and progression to sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy occurred more. By 12 months post-surgery, there were fewer patients with worsened diabetic retinopathy.

The authors concluded that the overall risk of bias was low, but patients should be frequently monitored for during the first year after bariatric surgery.

Yu CW, Park LJ, Pinto A, et al. The impact of bariatric surgery on diabetic retinopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Ophthalmol. 2021;DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2020.12.03

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