BackgroundLateral and medial hypothalamus (LH and MH) play important roles in energy balance. Changed hypothalamic function has been found in subjects with obesity. However, the effect of bariatric surgery on the function of the two sub-regions has been poorly investigated.MethodsThirty-eight subjects with obesity and 34 age- and sex-matched normal-weight controls were included. Seventeen of the 38 subjects underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data and metabolic parameters were collected to investigate functional connectivity networks of the two hypothalamic sub-regions as well as the influence of sleeve gastrectomy on the two networks in subjects with obesity.ResultsCompared to normal-weight controls, pre-surgical subjects had increased functional connectivity (FC) in the reward region (putamen) within the LH network, and increased FC in somatosensory cortical area (insula), as well as decreased FC in the cognitive control regions (prefrontal regions) within the MH network. After the surgery, post-surgical FC of the putamen within the LH network changed towards the patterns found in the control group. Furthermore, the changes in fasting glucose before and after the surgery were associated with the changes in FC of the putamen within the LH network.ConclusionsThe FC within the LH and MH networks were changed in subjects with obesity. Part of these altered FC was rescued after the surgery.