This study aimed to evaluate (1) the effectiveness, complications, and postoperative access to transplantation in end-stage chronic kidney disease (ECKD) and (2) the effectiveness and complications of bariatric surgery in patients who had already undergone kidney transplant.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of mortality and complications rates were performed. Thirty studies were reviewed.
After bariatric surgery, patients with ECKD had similar postoperative weight loss to patients from the general population. Meta-analysis showed post-bariatric surgery rates of 2% (95% CI: 0%-3%) for mortality and 7% (95% CI: 2%-14%) for complications. Approximately one-fifth of the patients had access to a transplant. This rate may be underestimated because of the short duration of follow-up. The lack of control groups did not allow for a conclusion on the role of bariatric surgery in facilitating access to kidney transplantation. In patients who had received a kidney transplant, bariatric surgery seemed to improve renal function but increased graft-rejection risk, possibly because of changes in the bioavailability of immunosuppressant drugs.
Bariatric surgery yields significant weight loss in patients with ECKD that improves patients’ chances of accessing a transplant but does not guarantee it; however, the risk for complications and death is higher than in other patients. After transplantation, bariatric surgery-induced weight loss appeared to positively impact the function of the grafted kidney, but careful monitoring of immunosuppressant medications is required.

© 2020 The Obesity Society.