Current Gastroenterology Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 367–372

Neurologic Complications of Bariatric Surgery: Involvement of Central, Peripheral, and Enteric Nervous Systems

Nutrition and Obesity (S McClave, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11894-012-0271-7

Cite this article as:
Frantz, D.J. Curr Gastroenterol Rep (2012) 14: 367. doi:10.1007/s11894-012-0271-7


Approximately one in three Americans is obese. Current society guidelines recommend bariatric surgery after conservative measures at weight loss have failed. The frequency of bariatric surgeries has increased significantly over the past decade. While considered both safe and effective, bariatric surgery presents a distinct set of risks. This review focuses on the neurological complications of bariatric surgery. Injuries have been reported at all levels of the nervous system, including the central, peripheral, and enteric nervous system. Injury can be classified according to time of presentation and location. The two main mechanisms of nerve injury are from mechanical injury or as a consequence of malnutrition. Encephalopathy, peripheral neuropathies, myelopathies, and radiculoneuropathies have all been reported. Mechanical injuries likely occur from mechanical compression. Malnutrition injuries result from multi-micronutrient deficiencies. The most likely candidates are vitamin B12, folate, zinc, thiamin, copper, vitamin A, and vitamin E deficiencies.


Bariatric surgeryRoux-en-YLaparoscopic adjustable gastric bandNervous systemComplicationWeight lossMalnutritionMicronutrientDeficiencyNeuropathyMononeuropathyRadiculopathyMyelopathyRadiculoneuropathyWernicke–KorsakoffB12FolateZincCopper vitamin AVitamin E

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA