Wernicke Encephalopathy in Adolescents After Bariatric Surgery: Case Report and Review.Pediatrics. 2016 12; 138(6)Ped
Roughly 1% of all weight loss surgery is performed in adolescents. There is strong evidence demonstrating significant postsurgical weight loss, improvement in quality of life, and reduction in comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes. Reports of postoperative complications in adolescents are few because of the small sample size in most series. Despite vitamin supplementation, nutritional deficiencies requiring hospitalization occur occasionally after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Wernicke encephalopathy, a triad of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and altered mental status, is a serious consequence of thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. Few cases of Wernicke encephalopathy after weight loss surgery have been reported in the literature and even fewer in the pediatric population. Here we describe a teenage girl who develops vomiting after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and presented with nystagmus, irritability, and ataxia. The clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of Wernicke encephalopathy in adolescents after bariatric surgery are discussed.