Treatment of sensory problems after surgical weight loss surgery (which may apply to chemotherapy patients)

I just read an interesting article in Bariatric Times, a publication of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, for which I am on the Editorial Advisory Board. An article by Natalia Bodunaova et al describes a case of sensory problems after Roux en Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) for weight loss. This article describes a 34 year old man who underwent laparascopic RYGB who lost 85 lbs in the first 2 months after his surgery. The significant weight loss was associated with flu-like symptoms including low grade fever and nausea, as well as numbness of the abdomen, with “cooling of his feet, progressing to numbness and weakness of the legs and arms. Routine work up with blood tests and imaging was negative, making the diagnosis consistent with acute postgastroplastic polyradiculoneuropathy (PRN). Warranted treatment with Vitamin B complex, thiamine, pyridoxine and iron led to stabilization of symptoms within weeks of presentation, with ultimate recovery. Neurological issues after bariatric interventions are attributed to nutritional deficiencies in vitamins A, B1 (thiamine) B2, B6, folic acid, B12, D, E and minerals copper and zinc. This occurs with significant weight loss and malabsorption. Presentation can be alarming, but treatment is easy and straightforward and can turn this problem around.

I see sensory disturbances occur in chemotherapy patients treated for breast cancer as well. While treatment must be considered and followed by the patient’s medical oncologist, vitamin/mineral deficiency is an easy issue to address with vitamin supplementation as a start.

For individuals considering body contouring after significant weight loss or reconstruction after breast cancer, please contact the office of Dr. Michele Shermak for consultation at 410-616-3000, and check out her website. Dr. Shermak has extensive experience with body contouring after massive weight loss as well as breast cancer reconstruction.

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