, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 191-194
Date: 01 Feb 2005

Weight Changes in Spouses of Gastric Bypass Patients

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Background: The effectiveness of gastric bypass for weight loss has been demonstrated. No study has documented the effect of this surgery on patient spouses' weight. Excess leftover food may be consumed by the spouses of gastric bypass patients, which may increase the total caloric intake compared to the preoperative intake. This investigation tested the hypothesis that there would be a significant change in patient spouse's weight. Methods: Patients who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) ≥ 12 months before were included. Preoperative weights of their spouses were requested before RYGBP surgery. Current weights of spouses were collected ≥ 12 months postoperatively. Chi-squared tests were used for statistical analysis. Results: 63 patients were included in this study. 1 patient was divorced and current data was not available. 3 patients' spouses themselves had RYGBP during the study period, and their average weight loss was 49 kg. Of the spouses who had a significant change in weight (but did not have a RYGBP), 13 lost weight and 20 gained weight. In this subgroup of spouses, 75% (15/20) of obese spouses gained weight compared to only 38% (5/13) non-obese spouses (P <0.04). Conclusions: Patients' spouses who are obese are more likely to have weight gain while the patients lose weight after RYGBP. Preoperative counseling should be offered to spouses of potential bariatric surgery patients, especially to spouses who are obese. This phenomenon suggests that obese spouses of bariatric patients should be counselled regarding weight gain or even be considered for candidates for bariatric surgery.