A super-obese patient who suffered from severe sleep apnea (SSA) and other comorbidities underwent insertion of a BioEnterics intragastric balloon (BIB) before bariatric surgery. During the night, he was victim of cardiac arrest. After cardiopulmonary resuscitation and return of spontaneous circulation, he was transferred to intensive care unit. Two hours later, he developed an unexpected symptomatic bradycardia, and BIB was removed. The patient had no further cardiac complications, but he had a poor neurological outcome. In our opinion, such a severe cardiac event was the result of several causes. The BIB induces vagal nerve activation by stretching the gastric wall. In addition, super-obese patients with sleep apnea and other comorbitities have an increased risk of potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias especially during the night. For all these reasons, we think that these patients may benefit from further preoperative cardiac investigations and a more intensive control during the first postinsertion day.
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We would like to thank Mr M. Ballerini, Technical of Neurophysiopatology Department of Neuroscience, for his professional aid and his availability and Dr S. Rossi Department of Neuroscience-University of Siena; without the help of the previous neurological monitoring could not have been possible.
The authors have no commercial associations that might be a conflict of interest in relation to this article.
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