Long-Term Body Composition Changes in Women Following Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Abigail J Johnson, Adam J. Kuchnia, Lauren M. Beckman, Cyrus Jahansouz, Jennifer R. Mager, Shalamar Sibley, Carrie P Earthman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Although most individuals experience successful weight loss following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), weight regain is a concern, the composition of which is not well documented. Our aim was to evaluate changes in body composition and handgrip strength as a measure of functional status in participants from a previous 1-year post-RYGB longitudinal study who had undergone RYGB approximately 9 years prior. Methods: Five women from an original larger cohort were monitored pre-RYGB and 1.5 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 9 years post-RYGB. Body composition was assessed at all time points using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and multiple dilution. Handgrip strength was measured using a digital isokinetic hand dynamometer (Takei Scientific Instruments, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan). Results: Mean time to final follow-up was 8.7 years. Lean soft tissue (LST) loss over the ∼9-year period was on average 11.9 ± 5.6 kg. Compared with 1-year post-RYGB, 9-year LST was 4.4 ± 3.0 kg lower (P =.03). Fat-free mass decreased over the 9-year period by 12.6 ± 5.8 kg. Mean fat mass (FM) decreased from 75.4 ± 22.6 kg pre-RYGB to 35.5 ± 21.5 kg 1 year post-RYGB but then trended toward an increase of 8.6 ± 7.0 kg between 1 year and 9 years post-RYGB (P =.053). Loss of LST was correlated with loss of handgrip strength (r = 0.64, P =.0005). Conclusion: The continued loss of lean mass associated with decreased handgrip strength occurring with long-term trend toward FM regain post-RYGB is concerning. The loss of LST and functional strength carries particular implications for the aging bariatric population and should be investigated further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was also supported by grant 1UL1RR033183 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and by grant 8 ULI TR000114-02 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) for the NIH to the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CTSI of the NIH. The University of Minnesota CTSI is part of a national Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium created to accelerate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients.

Publisher Copyright:
© The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.


  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • bariatric
  • dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry
  • fat-free mass
  • handgrip strength
  • lean body mass
  • lean tissue
  • obesity


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