Neurological complications are one of the risks of bariatric surgery, but a new Mayo Clinic study found that good nutritional control may prevent the development of postoperative nerve damage.
Previous studies have shown that malnutrition is the major risk factor for sensory predominant polyneuropathy, a type of peripheral neuropathy, following bariatric surgery. This can occur due to patients not taking multi-vitamins, experiencing more weight loss than expected, or post-operative complications.
“At Mayo Clinic, we insist that patients eligible for bariatric surgery undergo nutritional consultations and a psychiatric assessment prior to surgery to make certain their nutrition is addressed. Patients attend nutritional classes 6 months prior to surgery and multivitamins are taken by all patients scheduled to undergo this procedure,” says P. James B. Dyck, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic and author of this study.
Fellow researcher Pariwat Thaisetthawatkul, M.D., added, “This is a message of prevention, this study really emphasizes this. Patients should be aware that peripheral neuropathy is a risk of bariatric surgery and seek their care where there is a multidisciplinary approach to their treatment. Surgeons performing this procedure should include the nutritionists and endocrinologists on staff and get them involved with the patient care. Through a systematic, multidisciplinary approach of intensive pre- and post-operative nutritional management and frequent follow-up of patients undergoing bariatric surgery, the development of this type of neuropathy can largely be prevented.”
This study was presented today at the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine 56th Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.
View the AANEM news release on this study.