Minimally invasive gastric bypass in a morbidly obese patient with myasthenia gravis

Obes Surg. 2004 Oct;14(9):1273-6. doi: 10.1381/0960892042387002.


Associated or rare diseases, such as myasthenia gravis, introduce a challenge to the perioperative management of severely obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. We report the surgical management and unique anesthetic approach to a 55-year-old morbidly obese woman with a complex past medical history that included myasthenia gravis, who underwent laparoscopic gastric bypass. Her myasthenia was controlled on pyridostigmine and her greatest concern was the potential need for postoperative mechanical ventilation. While the laparoscopic surgical approach was ideal to reduce pain and the adverse effects on ventilatory mechanics associated with open upper abdominal surgery, a combined inhalational and intravenous anesthetic without muscle relaxants resulted in satisfactory surgical conditions, and allowed for immediate postoperative extubation followed by an uneventful postoperative course. Continued perioperative anticholinesterase administration may have facilitated this successful outcome. We conclude that a diagnosis of myasthenia gravis does not mandate postoperative mechanical ventilation following laparoscopic gastric bypass.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Inhalation
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / drug therapy
  • Myasthenia Gravis / epidemiology*
  • Neostigmine / administration & dosage
  • Neostigmine / therapeutic use
  • Obesity, Morbid / epidemiology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Pyridostigmine Bromide / administration & dosage
  • Pyridostigmine Bromide / therapeutic use


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Neostigmine
  • Pyridostigmine Bromide