Adolescent paraplegia, morbid obesity, and pickwickian syndrome: outcome of gastric bypass surgery

Go Miyano, Maninder Kalra, Thomas H. Inge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Loss of mobility, such as what occurs as a consequence of spinal cord injury or malformation, is a risk factor for excess weight gain and can confound weight management efforts. Despite well-documented outcomes of bariatric surgery in ambulatory patients, little information is available regarding weight loss surgery in adult or adolescent paraplegic patients. A 15-year-old adolescent boy with a body mass index of 60 kg/m2 and complete paraplegia caused by spina bifida developed metabolic dysfunction, severe obstructive sleep apnea, and hypoxemia syndrome. In an effort to avoid a tracheostomy for worsening pickwickian syndrome, he was referred for weight loss surgery. Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery was safely performed and resulted in loss of 55% of body weight (83.8% excess weight loss) for 2 years. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease markedly improved, and polysomnography demonstrated complete reversal of sleep apnea with substantial subjective improvement in daytime breathlessness and quality of life. Body composition analysis demonstrated preferential reduction in body fat mass compared with lean mass, without detrimental effect on bone mineral density. This case illustrates that paraplegia does not necessarily impair either weight loss efficacy or comorbidity resolution after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e41-e44
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastric bypass
  • Paraplegia
  • Spina bifida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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