Visceral Fat and Body Composition Changes in a Female Population After RYGBP: a Two-Year Follow-Up by DXA

Alberto Bazzocchi, Federico Ponti, Stefano Cariani, Danila Diano, Luca Leuratti, Ugo Albisinni, Giulio Marchesini, Giuseppe Battista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Our aim was to monitor the impact of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) on body composition over a 24-month period by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Methods: Forty-one women (40.6 ± 10.0 years old; 42.6 ± 6.6 kg/m2) entering a bariatric surgery programme were submitted to whole-body DXA (Lunar iDXA) before treatment and after 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. Fat mass (FM), non-bone lean mass (LM), bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD) were measured at whole body and regionally. Android visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was estimated by a recently validated software.

Results: Twenty-nine patients (44.3 ± 11.8 years old; BMI, 45.4 ± 8.9 kg/m2) concluded the study. Following surgery, the progressive decrease of BMI was associated with reduced whole-body and regional FM. LM showed a moderate decrease at 3 months and stabilized thereafter. A progressive decrease of total FM/LM and android FM/LM ratios were observed in the 3- to 6-month (−19.1 ± 8.4 % and −26.5 ± 10.9 %, respectively; p <0.0001) and 6- to 12-month periods (−23.5 ± 16.8 % and −29.4 ± 23.9 %, respectively; p <0.0001). VAT was the parameter showing the largest decrease (−65.6 ± 17.5 % at 12 months; p <0.0001). Two years after the surgery, a slight but significant decrease of total and regional LM was observed, without any significant change in BMI.

Conclusions: Body composition significantly changes after RYGBP with a metabolically healthier redistribution of total and regional FM and a positive balance of FM/LM variation. DXA should be considered as a valid supplementary tool for the clinical assessment and follow-up in patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-451
Number of pages9
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Absorptiometry, photon
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Body composition
  • Disease management
  • Intra-abdominal fat
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine(all)


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