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Bariatric surgery evolved from the mission of bariatric surgical pioneers to lessen the disease burden of obesity on the lives of their patients. Major unanticipated metabolic benefits of weight loss operations were noted and documented by surgeon scientists. Eventually, classic bariatric operations because recognized as “metabolic” operations, and metabolic surgery and surgeons became central figures in treating metabolic diseases in obese patients. All along the way, metabolic surgeons have been diligent to identify notable findings, investigate the observations, and share the findings. Concurrently, attention to quality of surgical outcomes became a cornerstone of metabolic surgery, as evidenced by strong and mature programs to enhance and refine the benefits and safety of patients.

Metabolic surgical research has been a natural byproduct and partner to these historical and modern efforts. Current established practices have been built on the evidence from the myriad of research reports in metabolic surgery and supported by quality initiatives. The ASMBS places high value on research in metabolic and bariatric surgery and supports these efforts by sharing findings at conferences, funding associated research efforts, and being a foundational piece of MBSAQIP. The ASMBS encourages members to research existing models of surgical care as well as innovative approaches to combating obesity. The following toolkit has been developed to assist ASMBS members in navigating the institutional review board (IRB) process, establishing a research protocol, and handling interactions with enrolled patients in a responsible manner.


The IRB protocol and consent templates are based on the IRB proceedings at the University of California, Davis.

The IRB primer is based on “Public Policy Considerations in Research” from Masters in Clinical Science curriculum at University of Texas Southwestern.

On behalf of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery,

Mohamed Ali, MD

Mohamed Ali, MD

2017-2018 Research Committee Chair

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