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After Bariatric Surgery, Alcohol Abuse More Likely

Second Year After Weight Loss Surgery May Be Riskiest

Bariatric Surgery and Alcohol Abuse: Perspective

The new research is not surprising, says Robin Blackstone, MD, president of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

She reviewed the study for WebMD but was not involved in it.

As a result of the bypass procedure, the alcohol doesn't get metabolized normally, says Blackstone.

"I tell people they should absolutely not drink alcohol at all if they have the gastric bypass," Blackstone tells WebMD.

She says her advice applies only to the Roux-en-Y procedure. The American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery does not have a policy on alcohol use after Roux-en-Y, she says.

If patients are treated at a nationally recognized center, she says, they will have an evaluation to uncover alcohol problems and other issues.

The new research is valuable, Blackstone says. "It not only confirms the fact that there are some people affected by this alcohol sensitivity, but it also tells us who those people are who are most at risk."

With that information, doctors can suggest the best weight loss surgery for specific patients, Blackstone says.

King has no disclosures. Co-author Anita Courcoulas, MD, MPH, of the University of Pittsburgh, reports receiving research grants from Allergen, Pfizer, Covidien, and EndoGastric Solutions. She is a consultant for, and serves on the scientific advisory board of, Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Healthcare System.

Another co-author, Walter J. Pories, MD, of East Carolina University, is a consultant to Johnson & Johnson Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. and receives grants from them and GlaxoSmithKline.

Ethicon Endo-Surgery is the maker of Realize, an adjustable gastric band.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and various universities and medical centers.

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