Damaging Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery on Bone Mass and Microarchitecture

Damaging Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery on Bone Mass and Microarchitecture

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery remains a highly effective treatment for obesity but may have damaging effects on bone mass and microarchitecture as early as six months postoperatively, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Postmenopausal women were particularly affected, not only having lower bone mass preoperatively than premenopausal women and men, but also demonstrating greater changes in skeletal health parameters, including larger declines in bone mineral density and changes in bone microstructure. Since “postmenopausal women are at highest risk for skeletal consequences,” the researchers say they “may warrant targeted screening or interventions” before and after gastric bypass.

At NJBI, we check serum levels of calcium and vitamin D to try to keep up with bone needs in our post op patients.  We also recommend that patients have a bone density evaluation at 12 months post op to establish a baseline for their bone health which can be used as a baseline for future comparison.  Unfortunately, it’s more common than not, that the patients see this as a burden rather than a benefit and fail to follow through with the recommendations.  Bariatric surgery is often considered by patients and primaries as “a day in the life.”  However, like childbirth, it has significant future ramifications and the more effort that YOU put in, the better the outcome.

Best in Health,

The NJBI Team