BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL VOLUME 289 17 NOVEMBER 1984
(Accepted 17 September 1984)
In spite of symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, and vomiting and
advice to avoid fatty foods, 31% of our patients were overweight
before operation, confirming the preoperative findings of others.2 3
Our study showed that a significant weight gain occurred after
cholecystectomy, with men gaining a mean of 4-6% of preoperative
body weight and women 3 3% after six months. When patients who
either lost weight or remained the same weight were excluded the
mean percentage weight gain rose to 6°’ and 6 6%, respectively.
We presume that this weight gain was caused by a reintroduction of
fats into the diet, although a metabolic cause cannot be completely
excluded. As one third of our patients were already overweight, any
further weight gain could be considered to be detrimental to their
long term health.
We now routinely inform patients undergoing
cholecystectomy that they are likely to gain weight after operation
and advise them accordingly.