Gastric Bypass Revision After Kidney Problems

Question Below Submitted By:  

Kim (a patient from Houston, Texas)

I am 54 years old and female. I had Roux n Y gastric bypass in 2002. I weighed 407 pre-surgery and my lowest achieved weight was 220.

I had several complications after surgery. My gall bladder was removed a few months after surgery. I had a hernia repair after emergency surgery and was diagnosed with peritonitis. I spent 22 days in the hospital.

Later on I had 8 lythotripsys for kidney stones and on one occasion got sepsis and almost died. I had great doctors and surgeons but continued to battle problems with kidney stones.

My current weight is 278 after all these years. I have now been told my left kidney is non-functioning and atrophied. I spoke with my urologist and he suggested possibly a revision to my gastric bypass could help me with my problems.

I am fairly healthy right now. I eat right, I exercise when I can, I work full time and I am a person that has a lot of faith.

Even with all of the complications, I still don’t regret having my surgery as weighing 407 was scary, and I was not living life then anyway.

Is there hope for me to lose more weight and prevent the one kidney I do have from getting more stones?

Should I have revision surgery? If so should I switch to a different procedure?

Do you have any other advice for me?

Thank you,


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon response to "Gastric Bypass Revision After Kidney Problems"

by: John Rabkin, M.D., Pacific Laparoscopy


You have a multitude of medical issues that makes it very difficult to offer any specific advice as to what would be best for you to do in your situation.

Any additional surgery would be a higher risk undertaking for you with the only potential benefit being additional wight loss which, I doubt, would address your concern of preserving kidney function.

The stone disease that you've experienced may actually be exacerbated by your weight loss surgery (WLS) anatomy and I wouldn't recommend altering your WLS anatomy at this point; conversion to a distal RNY gastric bypass would likely make your kidney stone disease worse.

If you were determined to undergo revisional bariatric surgery, the only procedure that potentially could effect substantial additional weight loss with a lower risk of worsening your kidney stone disease would be to convert you from a RNY gastric bypass to a sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve).

However, with your complex medical history, I'm reluctant to suggest that this would be in your best interest overall.

My recommendation is that you should consult with and be reviewed by an experienced bariatric surgeon well versed in revisional bariatric surgery to more carefully consider your complex medical history along with your surgical options (if any) for revisional bariatric surgery.

John M. Rabkin,
M.D. Pacific Laparoscopy

(click here for Dr. Rabkin's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

Related Pages:
- Gastric Bypass Revision Surgery Options
- Gastric Bypass Complications


Patient Responses to the Question Above

Thank You Doctor Rabkin

by: Kim

Thank you for the information. I will try to exercise more and look at the foods I am eating to see if I can do anything to help lose more weight for better health. I had to go on blood pressure medication and Potassium Citrate and a mild diuretic was also prescribed.

I take vitamins very faithfully and drink water but truthfully only about 40 ounces a day. I would welcome any other thoughts you have on surgery. I don't really want to have any more surgery but wondered if that would change the kidney issues I am having.

Thanks for your caring and sharing with me it means a lot to me.

Gastric Bypass Surgery with Stage 4 kidney failure

by: Lora Walker

In 2012 I had Heart Bypass surgery and am now Stage IV of Kidney failure.....since my surgery I've gained 34 pounds and still gaining!!! I'm currently 334 lbs and 5'6"!!!!

I had lost 50 lbs. before my heart surgery, but don't seem to be able to now... I really would like surgery if it's safe and healthy and has benefits for my kidneys.... I'm currently on a very strict diet, watching my protein and potassium and sodium intake and see NO weight loss!!!

I'm trying to avoid further kidney failure by strictly watching carbonated drinks and phosphorus foods... Would surgery be beneficial to me or would it harm my kidneys worse...

Kidney stones

by: Marge

I am not sure, but I am guessing that you have kidney stones since you are in potassium citrate.

My family member had a Roux n Y. Developed chronic, frequent kidney stones (and we could not find a doctor who would do anything but put him on pain meds) and the kidneys began to fail. They began to take Uricit K. The name brand, not the generic (get a coupon on line). It helped. Getting them off the pain meds and on the Uricit improved the kidney function and decreased the number of stones in a year. Ask your doctor.

Stage five kidney failure

by: David romero

Would it help me or damage wore my kidneys at stage five?

"Mini" Gastric Bypass done in 1998, now having Kidney and Parathyroid issues

by: Terri Stevens

Hello doctor and thanks for this service. I am in stage 3 kidney disease and just had my blood drawn showing anemia although they cannot pinpoint why and a PTH of 196. I have done a little reading and it appears that gastric bypass after 10 years time can cause secondary parathyroidism.

I had a "mini" GB done by Dr, Rutledge when my weight was 280 (I am 5'7") and now it is around 160 and stable there. I am a white female with a GFR of 42 but my Ca is only slightly low at 8.2. Can the gastric bypass be the cause of all this even this far out of surgery? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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