Background: Both obesity and surgery are known risk factors for instigating gouty attacks. We describe the incidence and management of postoperative gouty attacks after bariatric surgery.
Methods: We performed a retrospective, multi-institutional review of 411 consecutive laparoscopic gastric bypass patients and identified all patients with postoperative gouty attacks.
Results: Of the 411 patients reviewed, 21 (5.1%) had had a previous diagnosis of gout. Of these 21 patients, 7 (33.3%) had had an acute attack postoperatively. No patient who had never had a preoperative episode developed gout. In 4 of the 7 (57.1%) patients, the attack was severe enough to require treatment with corticosteroids. Monoarticular attacks occurred in 5 (71.4%) of the 7 patients, and polyarticular attacks occurred in 2 (28.6%). The joints involved included the toes, ankles, and wrists. One patient presented with cervical gout and developed polyarticular gout that required a significant rehabilitation stay.
Conclusion: The morbidity of postoperative gouty attacks in bariatric surgery patients is significant. Patients with a history of gout should given prophylactic treatment and closely monitored.