Sertaç Usta , Koray Karabulut

Department of General Surgery, Fırat University School of Medicine, Elazığ, Turkey


Rhabdomyolysis after bariatric surgery is a quite rare occurrence with low recognition. Due to the breakdown of the striated muscle fibers, creatine kinase and myoglobin are released into the systemic circulation with variable effects on the renal filtration functions. Herein we present the case of a patient who developed rhabdomyolysis following revision bariatric surgery. A 34-year-old male patient was admitted for bariatric surgery. He had undergone a gastric band surgery approximately 6 years ago, with weight regain starting 1 year postoperatively gradually reaching the previous weight level. Consequently, the gastric band was removed with open surgery 3 years ago. The patient had a body mass index of 69 kg/m2 and an incisional hernia due to the previous surgery. Although initially, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy was planned, a switch to open surgery was made due to the presence of diffuse intra-abdominal adhesions and a giant incisional hernia precluding a laparoscopic intervention. The total duration of surgery was 420 min. Postoperative laboratory work-up showed elevated blood creatine kinase levels (25837 U/L). Upon the failure of fluid replacement and diuretics, hemodialysis was initiated on postoperative day 1. Despite daily sessions of hemodialysis, the patient’s acidosis did not improve; his general status worsened, and he died on postoperative day 14. Rhabdomyolysis is a severe and potentially life-threatening complication of bariatric surgery. Its severity may vary from asymptomatic elevation in creatine kinase levels to death. Postoperative creatine kinase levels should be routinely monitored in high-risk patients as a practical and inexpensive laboratory modality for early diagnosis.

Keywords: Complication, rhabdomyolysis, sleeve gastrectomy

Cite this paper as: Usta S, Karabulut K. Rhabdomyolysis as a rare but fatal complication of bariatric surgery: A case report. Turk J Surg 2018; 10.5152/turkjsurg.2018.3990.


Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept - S.U.; Design - S.U.; Supervision - K.K.; Resource - S.U.; Materials - S.U.; Data Collection and/or Processing - S.U.; Analysis and/or Interpretation - S.U.; Literature Search - S.U.; Writing Manuscript - S.U.; Critical Reviews - K.K.; Other - S.U.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.