Effects of alcohol on gastric bypass patients

alcohol gastric bypassScienceDaily posted about a study of how alcohol affects gastric bypass patients. The main finding of the study, published in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, was that individuals who have had a gastric bypass operation take longer to process alcohol. The results showed that patients who underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) operation had significantly higher breath alcohol content (BAC) and took longer to return to a sober state after drinking, compared with BAC levels tested before the RYGB.

Nineteen morbidly obese patients participated in the study, performing metabolism tests prior to their RYBG operation, as well as three and six months post-operation. In addition to the physical tests, patients reported symptoms when drinking and answered a questionnaire.

According to the results, “the BAC percentage of patients after drinking five ounces of red wine was significantly higher post-operation. BAC was 0.024 percent at pre-operation and 0.059 percent at three months. Tested again at six months post-operation, the patients’ BAC was 0.088 percent, which is more than the legal driving limit of .08 percent.”

John M. Morton, MD, MPH, FACS, who is an associate professor of surgery at Stanford University, explains that it is important to educate RYBG patients on the effects of alcohol on their post-operative body: “RYGB patients need to understand that their body will respond to alcohol differently after their operation and they need to exercise caution if they choose to drink alcohol. Our recommendation to all of our RYGB patients is never drink and drive and to limit consumption of alcohol to one standard drink for every two hours. The key to safeguarding bariatric surgery benefits is to provide appropriate patient education.”

You can read ScienceDaily’s article here.

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