Alcohol metabolism is not affected by sleeve gastrectomy

A. S. Gallo, M. A. Berducci, S. Nijhawan, D. F. Nino, R. C. Broderick, C. R. Harnsberger, S. Lazar, C. Echon, H. F. Fuchs, F. Alvarez, B. J. Sandler, G. Jacobsen, S. Horgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction: It has been published that patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery have impaired alcohol metabolism, predisposing them to higher rates of intoxication and DUI arrests. Yet the impact of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) on alcohol metabolism and in particular the long-term effects are still unclear. We hypothesized that LSG does not alter alcohol metabolism. Methods: A prospective cohort study of patients undergoing LSG was evaluated. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was extrapolated using a Breathalyzer®. Alcohol metabolism was evaluated by determining BAC every 5 min after a single dose of alcohol (5 oz. glass of 14 % v/v Malbec wine), until BAC was equal to zero. Subjects were queried about alcohol intoxication symptoms. All parameters were obtained and analyzed preoperatively and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively. Results: Our study consisted of 10 patients (9 female) with a mean age of 46.6 ± 2.2 years and BMI of 43.5 ± 2.2 kg/m2. The mean percentage excess weight loss was 39.5 ± 3.3 at 3 months and 55.6 ± 4.4 at 12 months. Peak BAC at 20 min was not different at 3 months (0.068 ± 0.007, p = 0.77) or at 12 months (0.047 ± 0.008, p = 0.19) when compared to the preoperative assessment (0.059 ± 0.014). In addition, the time to BAC equal to zero was not significantly different between baseline and the follow-up values (preoperative: 70 ± 9 min, 3 months: 95 ± 18 min, and 12 months: 57 ± 8 min, (p > 0.05). Symptoms of intoxication were not significantly different in patients before and after surgery. Conclusions: Our study suggests that LSG does not alter alcohol metabolism. Patients who undergo LSG do not have higher levels of intoxication following alcohol consumption and are therefore not prone to higher rates of DUI charges than the general public, in contrast to that previously reported following in patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1093
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 8 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Absorption
  • Bariatric
  • Ethanol
  • Gastric bypass
  • Metabolism
  • Sleeve gastrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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