Taste change after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2006 Jul-Aug;2(4):440-4. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2006.02.014.


Background: Many patients have described changes in taste perception after weight loss surgery. Our hypothesis was that patients develop postoperative changes in taste that vary by bariatric procedure.

Methods: Patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) completed a 23-question institutional review board-approved survey postoperatively regarding their degree and type of taste changes and food aversion and how these influenced their eating habits.

Results: A total of 127 patients participated. After removing the inadequately completed surveys, 82 LRYGB and 28 LAGB patients were included. Of these, 87% of LRYGB and 69% of LAGB patients believed taste is important to the enjoyment of food. More LRYGB patients (82%) than LAGB patients (46%) reported a change in the taste of food or beverages after surgery (P <.001). In addition, 92% of LAGB versus 59% of LRYGB patients characterized the change as a decrease in the intensity of taste (P <.05). Additionally, 68% of LRYGB and 67% of LAGB patients found certain foods repulsive and had developed aversions. Also, 66% of LRYGB and 70% of LAGB patients believed the taste changes were greater than expected preoperatively. Most patients (83% of LRYGB and 69% of LAGB patients) agreed that the loss of taste led to better weight loss.

Conclusion: Although most LRYGB and many LAGB patients experienced taste changes and food repulsion postoperatively, procedural differences were found in these taste changes. Taste changes need to be investigated further as a possible mechanism of weight loss after bariatric surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastric Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Gastric Bypass / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Obesity, Morbid / physiopathology
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Taste Disorders / etiology*
  • Taste Disorders / physiopathology