What Is Fatty Liver Disease? Can Bariatric Surgery Help Treat It? By Gaston Tessada on February 24, 2024

Digital illustration of a fatty liverObesity is a chronic disease whose impact goes far beyond a person’s physical appearance. Obesity has been linked to many diseases and health problems. Being obese is one of the primary risk factors for fatty liver disease.

Given that obesity increases the risk of fatty liver disease, it is natural to wonder if it can be treated with sustainable weight loss - specifically that achieved through weight loss surgery, which alters the stomach and digestive tract. Here, the doctors at Vision Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, discuss what fatty liver disease is and if bariatric surgery can help treat it so patients can avoid the potential risks associated with the disease.

What Is Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. There are two types of fatty liver disease: alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by excessive alcohol consumption, whereas NAFLD is not related to alcohol. Instead, NAFLD is often linked to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, or other health conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Often, fatty liver disease causes no noticeable symptoms. It is not uncommon for people to have the condition for many years without diagnosis. When symptoms are present, the most common are fatigue, abdominal pain (especially in the upper right side of the abdomen), swollen abdomen and legs, and nausea or loss of appetite.

Risks of Fatty Liver Disease

Even though fatty liver disease is not always a symptomatic condition, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be taken seriously. The liver is the largest organ inside the body; it has many essential responsibilities, including storing energy, helping with food digestion, and flushing toxins. Fatty liver disease can inhibit liver functions and eventually lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver failure.

Can Bariatric Surgery Help Treat Fatty Liver Disease?

There is no cure for fatty liver disease, but weight loss is the most recommended treatment. Weight loss can reduce fat in the liver to alleviate inflammation and prevent disease progression. Since obese individuals often struggle to lose weight (and keep it off) through diet and exercise, it is natural to wonder if bariatric surgery can help in the treatment of fatty liver disease.

An article released by the Endocrine Society discusses a recent study that says bariatric surgery can be an effective treatment for NAFLD. The study evaluated the effects of bariatric surgery on liver function and found that a year after surgery, patients showed a decrease in liver enzymes, Fatty Liver Index (FLI), and BARD scores (a prediction of liver scarring).

Treating Other Medical Conditions With Bariatric Surgery

Fatty liver disease is just one health condition that can be improved with bariatric surgery. The weight loss encouraged by bariatric surgery can help our Tijuana patients treat heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea. Bariatric surgery can also lead to improvement or total remission of Type 2 diabetes, a disease that is very common among obese people.

Contact Vision Bariatrics

Bariatric surgery helps people take control of their health and improve their self-confidence by shedding unwanted weight. If you are considering bariatric surgery and would like to learn the benefits of medical tourism and treatment at Vision Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, contact us online at your earliest convenience.

Related to This

Vision Bariatrics

Choose a Trusted Team

The medical team at Vision Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, is committed to providing the highest quality of care to deliver life-changing results. Drs. Francisco Gonzalez, Mario Camelo Ramos, and Francisco Guarista are all board-certified bariatric surgeons trained in the latest weight loss surgery methods. Additionally, we offer: 

  • State-of-the-art surgical care
  • Affordable, transparent pricing
  • A safe, secure campus 

To learn more about our Tijuana practice, call us at (619) 313-3171, or request a quote online.

Contact Us Today

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in Fray Servando Teresa de Mier 15, Zona Urbana Rio  Tijuana, BC

Vision Bariatrics

Fray Servando Teresa de Mier 15, Zona Urbana Rio
Tijuana, BC 22320

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

Tell us a bit about yourself...

619-313-3171 Send a message