Very few studies can be done using nearly 20 people, but we discovered one so profound we felt we needed to share it with you.
The Journal of American College of Surgeons did a study looking at the effects of alcohol in patients before and after weight loss surgery. About 220,000 Americans had some type of weight loss surgery in 2009, and with these numbers rising every year, this issue is of major importance.
The study had 19 patients guzzle down a glass of wine before having surgery, and then do it again 3-6 months after surgery. What they found was stunning. Prior to having surgery the patients blood alcohol level was .02, which is about one third the limit of being impaired, but after surgery their blood alcohol level was just above the legal limit, which is .08. When the patient’s blood alcohol level was .02 it took only 50 minutes to return to normal levels, but after having surgery it took 88 minutes.
It took just one glass of wine after surgery to make someone legally intoxicated and unable to drive. That’s so important for not just patients to know, but for doctors like us as well so we can counsel people who do undergo these surgeries to let them know not even one glass of wine may be okay to have before driving.
So remember, if you’re going out and drinking after weight loss-surgery, our advice to keep yourself and other drivers safe by having someone else do the driving. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t drink, but it’s important to recognize that because of the reduced stomach size, alcohol will enter your bloodstream faster and have a much greater impact. So make safe and smart decisions and always air on the side of caution!