Recent research shows that it takes longer for patients who have had gastric bypass surgery to process alcohol in their body, which can lead to overindulgence when drinking. The results of the research were published in the February 2012 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
The study about alcohol metabolism on 19 Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients revealed that it took them significantly more time to get back to a sober state after having a drink. They also had a higher blood alcohol content (BAC) compared to their BAC level test results prior to the procedure.
Gastric bypass is a bariatric surgical procedure performed to shrink the size of an obese patient’s stomach by attaching it to the intestine’s lower portion. It makes a person feel full with a lesser amount of food. As a result, limiting the amount of food that the patient can eat and the number of calories the body can absorb.
Researchers warned, however, that the surgery also changes the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. The lower position of the stomach after surgery allows more alcohol to travel to the bloodstream in a faster amount of time. As the body becomes more sensitive to alcohol after the operation, some patients experience drinking problems. As alcohol hits faster with greater intensity and can become more addictive. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, weight regain and alcohol dependence several months or even years after the surgery.
The results of the research showed that patients who drank five ounces of red wine after the operation had peak percentage of blood alcohol content levels. Before the operation, their BAC registered 0.024% to 0.059%. Six months after the operation, the BAC level of the same subjects drinking the same amount of wine registered 0.088%, which is more than the 0.08% legal driving limit. It was also noted that it took 40 minutes for the preoperative subjects to get back to zero BAC compared to the 61 minutes three months after the operation, and 88 minutes six months after the operation.
According to Dr. Morton, individuals who underwent gastric bypass surgery have to understand their bodies’ unusual response to alcohol and have to be cautious when drinking. The researchers recommend that gastric bypass patients avoid drinking and driving, and follow an alcohol consumption limit of one standard drink every two hours.
If you have had gastric bypass surgery and have been charged with a DWI in Minnesota, there are several defenses that an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney can build to help you with your case. Contact Kans Law Firm, LLC at (952) 835-6314 for a free case consultation.