The bariatric surgery patient: lost to follow-up; from morbid obesity to severe malnutrition.

Research paper by Gregory B GB Dodell, Jeanine B JB Albu, Lawrence L Attia, James J McGinty, F Xavier FX Pi-Sunyer, Blandine B Laferrère

Indexed on: 06 Dec '11Published on: 06 Dec '11Published in: Endocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists


To describe the potential long-term risk of malnutrition after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (GBP) through an uncommon occurrence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) postoperatively, which posed a serious threat to the nutritional status and the life of the patient.We present a case report of a 44-year-old woman in whom Crohn disease developed 4 years after she had undergone GBP. The double insult of IBD and GBP resulted in severe malnutrition, with a serum albumin concentration of 0.9 g/dL (reference range, 3.5 to 5.0), weight loss, and watery diarrhea necessitating 6 hospital admissions during a period of 7 months.Ultimately, the administration of total parenteral nutrition with aggressive macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral repletion resulted in substantial improvement in the patient's strength, function, and quality of life, in parallel with diminished symptoms of IBD.Rarely, IBD develops after GBP, but the relationship between the 2 conditions remains unclear. Regardless, in addition to the altered anatomy after bariatric surgery, the further insult of IBD poses a severe threat to the nutritional status of affected patients. Malnutrition needs to be recognized and aggressively treated. Nutritional markers should be followed closely in this population of bariatric patients in an effort to avert the onset of severe malnutrition.