Obesity Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 937–940 | Cite as

Unusual Late-Onset Wernicke’s Encephalopathy Following Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

  • María Victoria Velasco
  • Ignacio Casanova
  • Andrés Sanchez-Pernaute
  • Elia Pérez-Aguirre
  • Antonio Torres
  • Jesus Puerta
  • Lucio Cabrerizo
  • Miguel A. RubioEmail author
Case Report


Wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE) related to bariatric surgery is the consequence of thiamine depletion occurring usually after restrictive surgical procedures with gastric outlet impairment causing frequent vomiting. We present a 35-year-old man with body mass index of 47.2 who developed a WE 7 years after a vertical banded gastroplasty. Late stenosis of the outlet due to gastric band inclusion was the precipitating mechanism. Poor compliance of dietary pattern and vitamin supplementation along with episodic vomiting both contributed to progressive symptoms of instable gait and mental changes. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the diagnosis of WE by showing hyperintense T2 signals at the mammillary bodies. Recovery of symptoms was possible after early thiamine therapy. Unusual late-onset symptoms and contributing factors to WE are discussed.


Wernicke’s encephalopathy Morbid obesity Vertical banded gastroplasty. 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Victoria Velasco
    • 1
  • Ignacio Casanova
    • 2
  • Andrés Sanchez-Pernaute
    • 3
  • Elia Pérez-Aguirre
    • 3
  • Antonio Torres
    • 3
  • Jesus Puerta
    • 2
  • Lucio Cabrerizo
    • 1
  • Miguel A. Rubio
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and NutritionHospital Clínico San CarlosMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyHospital Clínico San CarlosMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryHospital Clínico San CarlosMadridSpain

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