Taste, Smell and Appetite Change After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
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It is apparent from day-to-day practice that patients frequently report changes to their appetite, taste and smell after weight loss surgery. There has been surprisingly little written in the literature on this. The aim of the current study was to assess these parameters in a cohort of patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
Questionnaires relating to appetite, taste and smell were administered to 188 patients who had undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery at our institution during the years 2000–2011.
Responses were received from 103 patients (55 %). Sensory changes in appetite, taste and smell were noted by 97, 73 and 42 % of patients, respectively. Seventy-three percent of patients reported aversion to specific foods after surgery, with meat products the most commonly cited (33 %). Patients who experienced food aversions experienced more postoperative weight loss and reduction in BMI, compared to their counterparts without these features.
This study indicates that subjective changes in appetite, taste and smell are very common after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Patients are now routinely counselled about these changes as part of the informed consent process for surgery.