Failure of biliopancreatic diversion in Prader-Willi syndrome

Graziano Grugni, Gabriele Guzzaloni, Francesco Morabito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the most common genetic obesity. Excessive weight gain follows failure-to-thrive in early infancy; in adolescents and young adults, excess body weight can exceed 100%. The hyperphagia associated with PWS is responsible for the early mortality. Dietary restriction, alone or combined with anorexic drugs, are ineffective to induce a permanent weight loss. Thus, surgical treatment of morbid obesity in PWS has been attempted, but gastric restrictive operations are unable to produce stable weight loss. In a small number of patients, favorable results have been reported with biliopancreatic (BPD). Care Report: A 24-year-old women with PWS, Pickwickian, at age 21 weighed 80 kg (BMI=50) and underwent BPD. Results: 3 years after the BPD she regained 21 of the 26 kg lost; somnolence and respiratory difficulties were the same as before surgery. The patient now presents severe reduction of bone mass density, hypochromic anemia, hypoproteinemia, and diarrhea associated with eating. Conclusion: The regain of weight following BPD suggests that this procedure alone is not adequate for long-term control of obesity in PWS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-182
Number of pages4
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Biliopancreatic diversion
  • Morbid obesity
  • Prader-Willi syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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