Obesity Surgery

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 1594–1596 | Cite as

Wernicke's Encephalopathy After Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: A Misdiagnosed Complication

  • Antonio Iannelli
  • Pietro Addeo
  • Sebastien Novellas
  • Jean Gugenheim
Case Report


Malabsorptive syndromes and micronutrient deficiencies represent well-known long-term complications of bariatric surgery. Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE), a neurologic manifestation of thiamine deficiency, has been classically associated with alcoholism or severe malnutrition, but rarely reported after bariatric surgery. Herein, we describe the case of a 27-year-old woman that developed WE 10 months after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity that was initially misdiagnosed with a consequent retard in the appropriate treatment. Although only a few sporadic cases have been reported in the literature, all surgeons and physicians involved in the care of bariatric patients must be aware of this potentially serious complication.


Wernicke's encephalopathy Bariatric surgery Vomiting Thiamine deficiency Gastric bypass 


Conflict of Interest Disclosure

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Iannelli
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pietro Addeo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sebastien Novellas
    • 4
  • Jean Gugenheim
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Service de Chirurgie Digestive et Centre de Transplantation Hepatique, Hopital Archet 2Nice Cedex 3France
  2. 2.Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, Pôle DigestifNiceFrance
  3. 3.Faculté de MédecineUniversité de Nice-Sophia-AntipolisNiceFrance
  4. 4.Service d’Imagerie diagnostique et Interventionelle, Hopital Archet 2Nice Cedex 3France

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