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J Gastrointest Surg. 2005 Nov;9(8):1106-10; discussion 1110-1.

Effects of gastric bypass procedures on bone mineral density, calcium, parathyroid hormone, and vitamin D.

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VCU Medical Center, Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Richmond, Virginia, USA.


Weight loss after gastric bypass procedures has been well studied, but the long-term metabolic sequelae are not known. Data on bone mineral density (BMD), calcium, parathyroid hormone, and vitamin D were collected preoperatively and at yearly intervals after gastric bypass procedures. A total of 230 patients underwent preoperative BMD scans. Fifteen patients were osteopenic preoperatively, and three patients subsequently developed osteopenia postoperatively within the first year. No patient had or developed osteoporosis. At 1 year, total forearm BMD decreased by 0.55% (n = 91; P = .03) and radius BMD had increased overall by 1.85% (n = 23; P = .008); both total hip and lumbar spine BMD decreased by 9.27% (n = 22; P < .001) and 4.53% (n = 31; P < .001), respectively. By the second postoperative year, BMD in the total forearm had decreased an additional 3.62% (n = 14; P < .001), whereas radius BMD remained unchanged. Although total hip and lumbar spine BMD significantly decreased at 1 year, by year 2 both total hip and lumbar spine BMD only slightly decreased and were not significantly different from before the operation. Serum calcium decreased from 9.8 mg/dL to 9.2 during the first year (not significant [NS]) and then to 8.8 (NS) by the second year. Parathyroid hormone increased from 59.7 pg/mL (nl 10-65 pg/mL) preoperatively to 63.1 during year 1 (NS) and continued to increase to 64.7 by year 2 (NS). No difference was noted among levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D preoperatively (25.2 ng/mL; nl 10-65 ng/mL), at 1 year (34.4), and at 2 years (35.4). Our data indicate that bone loss is highest in the first year after gastric bypass with stabilization, and that, in some cases, there is an increase in bone density after the first year.

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