Alcohol Metabolism Is Not Affected After Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: A New Finding

Martin A Berducci, MD, Sheetal Nijhawan, MD, Diego F Nino, Alberto S Gallo, MD, Eric Cramer, MS, Cristina R Harnsberger, MD, Ryan C Broderick, MD, Bryan J Sandler, MD, Garth R Jacobsen, MD, Santiago Horgan, MD. Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of California, San Diego.

It has been published that gastric bypass surgery patients have impaired alcohol metabolism, predisposing these patients to higher rates of intoxication and DUI charges. The impact of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) on alcohol metabolism is still unknown. We designed a prospective trial to evaluate the effect of LSG on alcohol metabolism.

A prospective cohort study of 10 patients undergoing LSG was conducted. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was determined using a Breathalyzer® examination every 5 min after a 150 ml of wine (12% alcohol by volume ) until BAC was equal to zero. Subjects were queried regarding alcohol intoxication symptoms. All parameters were obtained preoperatively, as well as 3 and 12 months postoperatively.

From 05/2011 to 12/2012, 10 patients (9 female) with a mean age and BMI of 46.6 years and 43.5 ± 2 kg/m2 respectively were evaluated. The percent excess weight loss (%EWL) was 39.5 ± 3.3% at 3 months and 56.2 ± 5% at 12 months. Peak BAC was noted at 20 min and was not different at 3 months (0.068 ± 0.007, p= 0.765) or at 12 months (0.05 ± 0.008, p=0.1679) when compared to the preoperative (0.059 ± 0.014) assessment. In addition, the time for BAC to return to zero was not significantly different between the three time points evaluated (preoperative: 70 ± 9 min, 3 months: 95 ± 18 min and 12 months: 57 ± 8 min). Furthermore, symptoms of intoxication were not significantly different in patients before and after surgery.

This study, one of the first with 12-month follow-up data, suggests that, unlike previous work regarding gastric bypass and other metabolic procedures, LSG patients do not have impaired alcohol metabolism postoperatively.

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