Patients who undergo bariatric weight loss surgery were at increased risk for using drugs, alcohol and tobacco after the procedure, particularly patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery due to an increased risk for alcohol use, a study found.
Researchers assessed questionnaire responses from 155 patients (132 women) who underwent weight loss surgery and were recruited from a bariatric surgery center. Patients underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (n=100) or laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery (n=55) and completed questionnaires about their eating habits and substance use one, three, six, 12 and 24 months after surgery.
The study appeared online Oct. 15 at Archives of Surgery.
An immediate decrease in frequency of substance use postoperatively wasn't maintained between three and 24 months of follow-up. Patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery reported a significant increase in the frequency of alcohol use from the time before surgery to 24 months after surgery.
Researchers wrote that, "Risks and benefits should be weighted when recommending LRYGB [laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass] surgery to patients who may be at increased risk of developing problems with alcohol after WLS [weight loss surgery], such as those with a personal or family history of alcohol abuse or dependence."