Short-Term Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Best-Corrected Distance Visual Acuity and Diabetic Retinopathy Progression.
The immediate impact of rapid glucose lowering induced by bariatric surgery on diabetic retinopathy (DR) progression remains unclear. We present 3-year changes in the best-corrected visual acuity and DR grade in a retrospective observational study of 32 morbidly obese patients (64 eyes) who underwent Roux-en-Y-gastric bypass surgery. We found that despite overall benefits in vision, there was an initial progression from no retinopathy to background retinopathy in 18.9% and 21.7% at years 1 and 2 respectively. Patients with pre-proliferative DR at baseline were at increased risk of developing sight-threatening DR. We recommend that patients with diabetes undergoing bariatric surgery have a baseline visual acuity, macular optical coherent tomography and diabetic retinopathy grading from wide-field digital imaging to identify those at risk of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy.