Is Weight Loss Surgery Safe with Multiple Sclerosis?

Question Below Submitted By:  

April (a patient from Arizona)

Is weight loss surgery safe for someone living with multiple sclerosis? If so, which procedures are best?

I am a 35 year old woman interested in gastric bypass surgery. I have battled with my weight my whole life since 3rd grade. I was diagnosed with graves disease at 24 after graduating college.

My health history is non complicated with no hypertension, no diabetes or other cardiac complications. I am a healthy single mother living with MS and I am in remission since my diagnosis 3 yrs ago. I work full time and raise my son but desire to be healthier for him.

Is this surgery a safe solution for me? Are there any special considerations for a bariatric surgery patient with MS?

Bariatric Surgery Source

Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon Response to "Is Weight Loss Surgery Safe with Multiple Sclerosis?"

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


As a general response, multiple sclerosis doesn't automatically disqualify a morbidly obese patient from potentially undergoing and benefiting from weight loss surgery (WLS).

In my own practice, I have two patients with diagnosed MS: one diagnosed before the WLS and in the other patient's case the diagnosis was made afterwards. The patient who had the diagnosis made prior to WLS surgery routinely notes how much the WLS surgery has improved her symptoms from her MS.

The best WLS procedure for a patient diagnosed with MS (as well as the appropriateness for that given patient of undergoing WLS in the first place) is dependent on the specific health of that individual and unique patient and needs to be carefully reviewed and discussed by that patient and his/her bariatric surgeon.

John 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:
- Bariatric Treatment Overview
- Types of Bariatric Surgery


Patient Responses to the Question Above

Current Status?

by: Anonymous

I am a 33-year-old single mom who is also looking to have bariatric surgery in the next month or so. I'm curious if you ended up having the surgery and, if so, which type of surgery you chose and why. Results? Any information would be very helpful, as I also have multiple sclerosis. Thanks!!!


by: Anna Marie

I have been diagnosed with MS for nearly 14 years. My MS has progressed very rapidly over the last 5 years so now I am wheelchair bound! In November of 2016, I had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Since surgery, my MS has fought the surgery the entire way. Extreme nausea/vomiting, unable to drink any protein shakes no matter the brand, type, temperature, or thickness! I have had to use a PICC Line for added hydration, nutrition, vitamins, and IV anti-nausea meds!

Yes, I have lost significant weight in a short amount of time (85lbs in 3 months) but due to my weight loss happening so quickly and mainly due to nausea/vomiting, I am now in early stages of Kidney and Liver failure! My surgeon has decided that he will never take on a weight loss client that has MS again due to my outcome and urges that more case studies be done regarding WLS and MS patients!

MS WLS Patient

by: April

I had Gastric by pass surgery Dec 2015. I was diagnosed with MS a few months later. I was misdiagnosed for about 17 years. The stress of the weight loss surgery caused my MS to flare up.

I'm thankful for the flare up. I was finally diagnosed and was able to start on MS treatment immediately. I have been doing well ever since. Having lost nearly 100 lbs my MS is managed easier.

up coming WLS

by: Misty

I have WLS scheduled in another month and have MS. I'm currently taking Gilenya and my neuriologist is wanting to change this prior to surgery.
Those of you that have MS and had surgery, what MS medication are you currently taking?

Click here to see more patient comments

Click here to add your own response

Find a Weight Loss Surgeon

Share Your Comments

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 08/11/2021 ]

* Disclaimers: Content: The information contained in this website is provided for general information purposes and your specific results may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Advertising: Bariatric Surgery Source, LLC has entered into referral and advertising arrangements with certain medical practices, original equipment manufacturers, and financial companies under which we receive compensation (in the form of flat fees per qualifying action) when you click on links to our partners and/or submit information. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Read More

Request a Free Insurance Check

Fill out the below form for a free insurance check performed in partnership with your local bariatric surgeon.


Los Angeles/Orange County