, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 175-181
Date: 01 Feb 2004

Severe Protein-Calorie Malnutrition after Bariatric Procedures

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Background: Serious nutritional complications after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) are infrequent. In a retrospective study of patients operated during a 68-month period, malnutrition was investigated to analyze circumstances associated with nutritional failure. Methods: In 236 consecutive RYGBPs, 11 patients with severe malnutrition were identified (4.7%) with age 45.1 ± 10.6 years (10 females/1 male) and initial BMI 54.6 ± 8.4 kg/m2. Results: In these 11 patients, the derangement was diagnosed 17.9 ± 15.8 months after RYGBP, following defined events in 63.6% (gastric stenosis, associated diseases ) or mostly exaggeration of expected symptoms in 36.4% (vomiting without endoscopic abnormalities). BMI then was 31.4 ± 8.6 kg/m2 (42.5 ± 9.9% total reduction, or 2.4 ± 2.1% decrease/month), and serum albumin and hemoglobin were 24.0 ± 8.2 g/L and 97.0 ± 23.0 g/L respectively. Edema was present in 45.4% (5/11), hospitalization was required in 54.5% (6/11), and 18.2% (2/11) eventually died. Conclusions: Serious malnutrition was unusual but not exceedingly rare in this series. Exogenous precipitating factors were clearly identified in 63.6% of the patients. Careful clinical and nutritional follow-up is recommended to prevent these uncommon but potentially dangerous complications.