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Semin Nephrol. 2008 Mar;28(2):163-73. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2008.01.009.

Nephrolithiasis after bariatric surgery for obesity.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Surgical intervention has become an accepted therapeutic alternative for the patient with medically complicated obesity. Multiple investigators have reported significant and sustained weight loss after bariatric surgery that is associated with improvement of many weight-related medical comorbidities, and statistically significant decreased overall mortality for surgically treated as compared with medically treated subjects. Although the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is considered an acceptably safe treatment, an increasing number of patients are being recognized with nephrolithiasis after this, the most common bariatric surgery currently performed. The main risk factor appears to be hyperoxaluria, although low urine volume and citrate concentrations may contribute. The incidence of these urinary risk factors among the total post-RYGB population is unknown, but may be more than previously suspected based on small pilot studies. The etiology of the hyperoxaluria is unknown, but may be related to subtle and seemingly subclinical fat malabsorption. Clearly, further study is needed, especially to define better treatment options than the standard advice for a low-fat, low-oxalate diet, and use of calcium as an oxalate binder.

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