There is a higher rate of inpatient treatment for alcoholism after gastric bypass surgery. According to a 2011 report by Magdalena Plecka Östlund, MD, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden (published in Digestive Disease Week 2011) alcohol is better absorbed into the blood after gastric bypass surgery. It is important to understand that in addition to limiting their food intake after surgery, alcohol should also be limited.
John Morton, MD, director of bariatric surgery at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, elaborated: “We have done studies on alcohol metabolism and it is remarkable to see what a single glass of wine will do. People become legally intoxicated quickly, and there are physiologic reasons for this. You lose first-pass metabolism and the alcohol goes directly into the intestine, which is lined with villi that absorb alcohol extremely well,” he explained.