Ursodeoxycholic Acid to Treat Gallstones in Bariatric Surgery Patients
BARIATRIC surgery is a safe and long-term treatment for weight loss; however, the rapid weight loss it induces is a major risk factor for the formation of cholesterol gallstones. The causal link between weight-loss and gallstone formation is not fully understood, but an important factor is the consequential imbalance in biliary lipids. Cholecystectomy at the time of bariatric surgery is the current standard treatment for gallstones, the evidence for the use of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) prophylaxis is still under debate. Research led by Sylke Haal, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was conducted to provide evidence for whether UDCA reduces the occurrence of gallstone disease after bariatric surgery.