People undergoing Roux-en-Y, a popular gastric bypass operation, could have 3x higher chances of alcohol or drug related deaths, as per Pittsburgh University researchers, while the reason is not clear, lab studies show the surgery to modify the body’s reaction to alcohol and drugs. The effects are physiological only, not psychological, states Dr. Morton of Yale’s Med School, who reviewed these results. Gastric bypass procedures remove 95% of stomach length. Since alcohol receptors do exist in liver and stomach areas, removing it cause alcohol metabolizing issues.
Over 2500 adults were surveyed for this research study. 8/10 subjects were women. Median age stood at 46. The study spanned 7 years. 10 of them due to alcohol or drug use, including drug OD and liver disease. Other bariatric procedures made people lose weight. Person-years statistics were used for comparison purposes. There were over 89 deaths for 100000 person-years in patients who underwent this procedure, while general population had 30.5 deaths per 100000.
Wendy King, a co-author, stated that only Roux-en-Y patients were examined and not those with sleeve gastrectomy procedures. New evidence shows alcohol metabolism to be affected by this procedure. She works at Pittsburgh University as well. Another popular procedure is called gastric banding. Since stomach capacity is restricted, people’s capacity for alcohol diminishes.
More tracking of drug and alcohol use, treatment, diagnosis, and education is required. Primary care physicians should also be aware of such risks since they treat people with a history of such procedures as well. These deaths were occurred around 5 years after surgery. Morton stated that substance abuse information should be added to pre-op processes, with additional counseling after surgery.
However, people should also remember that the reason they chose bariatric surgery was to improve health and lose weight, which is not helped by the consumption of alcohol. The study’s findings appeared in the SORD journal.