International survey on complications of religious fasting after metabolic and bariatric surgery

Sci Rep. 2023 Nov 18;13(1):20189. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-47673-w.


Religious fasting in Ramadan the 9th month of the lunar year is one of five pillars in Islam and is practiced for a full month every year. There may be risks with fasting in patients with a history of metabolic/bariatric surgery (MBS). There is little published evidence on the possible complications during fasting and needs stronger recommendations and guidance to minimize them. An international survey was sent to surgeons to study the types of complications occurring during religious fasting in patients with history of MBS to evaluate the risk factors to manage and prepare more evidence-based recommendations. In total, 21 centers from 11 countries participated in this survey and reported a total of 132 patients with complications occurring during religious fasting after MBS. The mean age of patients with complications was 36.65 ± 3.48 years and mean BMI was 43.12 ± 6.86 kg/m2. Mean timing of complication occurring during fasting after MBS was 14.18 months. The most common complications were upper GI (gastrointestinal) symptoms including [gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), abdominal pain, and dyspepsia], marginal ulcers and dumping syndrome in 24% (32/132), 8.3% (11/132) and 23% (31/132) patients respectively. Surgical management was necessary in 4.5% of patients presenting with complications (6/132) patients due to perforated marginal or peptic ulcer in Single Anastomosis Duodenoileostomy with Sleeve gastrectomy (SADI-S), one anastomosis gastric bypass (OAGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG), obstruction at Jejunojenostomy after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) (1/6) and acute cholecystitis (1/6). Patients after MBS should be advised about the risks while fasting including abdominal pain, dehydration, and peptic ulcer disease exacerbation, and a thorough review of their medications is warranted to minimize complications.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery* / adverse effects
  • Fasting / adverse effects
  • Gastrectomy / adverse effects
  • Gastric Bypass*
  • Humans
  • Obesity, Morbid* / etiology
  • Obesity, Morbid* / surgery
  • Peptic Ulcer* / etiology
  • Peptic Ulcer* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome