Ask an expert
Question

16 Jan 2003

Shortening of small intestine in order to loose weight
My cousin secretly went for an operation to shorten her small intestine so that she can loose weight. I am very worried about her. Surely this can not be healthy in the long term, she is only 33 years old and has a history of obesity as well as anorexia. Currently she is very obese and has been struggling to loose weigt on various diets. Please give some information on the operation as well as the risks.
Answer 11,724 views
Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Worried
Although I am personally not in favour of taking such drastic measures to lose weight, the operation does help some people who have massive obesity. The problems associated with this procedure are as follows: a) because most proteins, vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the small intestine, removal of a large part or all of it, will result in deficiencies, unless the patient takes supplements every day for the rest of her life b) her food intake will be highly restricted and she will develop bloating, diarrhoea, cramps, etc, if she eats any food that does not agree with her reconstructed digestive system - all these aspects make life very difficult c) some patients start gaining weight after a few years. Depending on the type of operation that was performed on your cousin, it may be reversible, so she may have this option open to her.
Best regards
DietDoc
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.