Jejuno-Illeal Bypass Surgery for Weight Loss

According to the American Society of Bariatric Surgery, the first report of a procedure designed to induce weight loss was published in 1954. Two surgeons by the name of Kremen and Linner described a procedure which involved connecting the upper part of the small intestine to the lower part of the small intestine. Essentially, this meant that food would "bypass" a large amount of the small intestine, including sections called the jejunum and the ileum. Patients could eat as much as they wanted, but only a small amount of the calories and nutrients would be absorbed by the body. The jejuno-ileal bypass (JIB), as it was called, pioneered the concept of malabsorption. Shortening the nutrient absorptive circuit remains the most powerful bariatric technique used today.

Unfortunately, the JIB can also be blamed for the negative or fearful attitude some people still have towards weight loss surgery. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, the procedure had become quite popular in the United States due to the dramatic and sustained weight loss it produced. But after long-term data accumulated, physicians discovered that it carried several distressing and even life-threatening complications. Patients regularly experienced diarrhea, electrolyte imbalances, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, gallstones, and a number of other adverse effects. But more frighteningly, some patients developed severe kidney and liver failure, leading to a number of deaths. As a result of its high risk, the JIB procedure was abandoned in favor of safer techniques. The procedure is no longer performed in the United States.

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July 20, 2017: Heather, our registered dietitian, will be reviewing Chapter 3: Nutrition of The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients by Colleen Cook. Thursday July 20th from 5-6pm at our office.
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