Changes in Alcohol Use after Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: Predictors and Mechanisms

Valentina Ivezaj, Stephen C. Benoit, Jon Davis, Scott Engel, Celia Lloret-Linares, James E. Mitchell, M. Yanina Pepino, Ann M. Rogers, Kristine Steffen, Stephanie Sogg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This review synthesized the literature on predictors and mechanisms of post-bariatric alcohol problems, in order to guide future research on prevention and treatment targets. Recent Findings: Consistent evidence suggests an elevated risk of developing problems with alcohol following bariatric surgery. While there is a paucity of empirical data on predictors of problematic alcohol use after bariatric surgery, being male, a younger age, smoking, regular alcohol consumption, pre-surgical alcohol use disorder, and a lower sense of belonging have predicted alcohol misuse post-operatively. This review synthesizes potential mechanisms including specific bariatric surgical procedures, peptides and reinforcement/reward pathways, pharmacokinetics, and genetic influences. Finally, potential misperceptions regarding mechanisms are explored. Summary: Certain bariatric procedures elevate the risk of alcohol misuse post-operatively. Future research should serve to elucidate the complexities of reward signaling, genetically mediated mechanisms, and pharmacokinetics in relation to alcohol use across gender and developmental period by surgery type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number85
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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