Health & Spirit

Double trouble: The unexpected result of sleeve gastrectomy

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

College Times says that the top three movies to watch when you're tipsy are "Superbad," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." We say, if you find yourself binge-watching them (they are, after all, aggressively incoherent, even if amusing), well, then, there's a pretty good chance you're already one drink over the line.

But that doesn't mean you've lowered your standards or lost the remote. It might be that after a sleeve gastrectomy for weight loss, your tolerance of alcohol plummeted.

A new study reveals that after sleeve gastrectomy, women can become legally intoxicated if they consume half the number of drinks it takes for women who haven't had the surgery to register as drunk. Two drinks have the effect of four or five! And this comes along with research showing similar results for women who've had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. (This reduced alcohol tolerance probably holds for men too, because the body's enzymes that process alcohol would be greatly reduced in anyone who's had these operations.)

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates that more than half of the 193,000 bariatric procedures in the U.S. annually are sleeve gastrectomies; 80 percent of those patients are women. That's a five-fold increase in the number of these operations from 2010 to 2015.

So, male or female, if you've had weight-loss surgery, ask your doc about changes in digestion of food and alcohol that it causes. Respect the constraints that this operation places on your daily habits, and you'll reap its amazing benefits.

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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