Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sleeve Gastrectomy May Have an Important Side Effect

Sleeve gastrectomy is a form of bariatric surgery where a small "banana like" stomach pouch is created to restrict food intake. The surgery is commonly one stage of a two stage bariatric surgical procedure. The second stage, for example, might be gastric bypass surgery. But a retrospective study, done by a group with The Bariatric Institute of Cleveland Clinic, Florida, concluded that laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is a safe single-stage primary procedure. However, there does now appear to be reasons to be cautious about the surgery.

It has been known for sometime that some forms of bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass surgery, can increase the alcohol absorption rate. Some people who have bypass surgery experience the effects of alcohol quicker and longer than they did before the surgery, according a 2007 study done by John M. Morton, MD, of Standford University. That's why persons who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are urged to "keep an eye on alcohol intake." Indeed, 'one drink could be enough to place them at risk for a DUI,' according to Morton.

And a recent study confirms that, like gastric bypass surgery, LSG causes increased alcohol absorption. The study, done in Chile, studied twelve obese patients. The patients were given specific quantities of wine before and after LSG surgery. Researchers followed the twelve study participants for several months. At the end of the study period, the researchers concluded that the participants experienced "higher and longer blood alcohol values for equivalent amounts of alcohol."

Still, bariatric surgery is one of the most effective tools in the fight against obesity. Bariatric surgery leads to more instances of long term weight loss than other weight loss methods. And as we stated earlier, LSG can be a single-stage primary procedure, in addition to one stage of a two-stage bariatric procedure.

Finally, while laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy may be an important surgical offering for those bariatric centers offering other forms of bariatric surgery, patients should be informed of the possible increased alcohol absorption. But even with this side effect, offering LSG could give a weight loss or bariatric center a competitive advantage.

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