Intestinal surgery linked to eye problems

Patients who have undergone surgery on the intestines could have difficulty with the absorption of vitamin A, leading to possible eye problems in later life.

Vitamin A deficiency can lead to damage to the retina, night blindness, dry eye and softening of the cornea, Reuters reports.

Writing in the August issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology, Dr Chae and Dr Foroozan revealed that records of patients diagnosed with vitamin A deficiency last year included a significant number of people who had previously undergone intestinal surgery, in some cases years earlier.

One of the patients developed visual problems just months after undergoing gastric bypass surgery, while another three experienced delayed eye problems at least 18 years after undergoing intestinal surgery.

The authors concluded that "vitamin A deficiency should be suspected in patients with unexplained decreased vision and a history of intestinal surgery, regardless of the timing of the surgical procedure".

This is not the first study to suggest a link between gastric bypass surgery and visual complications and, with the number of patients electing to have obesity surgery increasing, there are concerns that incidences of related eye problems could increase in the future.

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Intestinal surgery linked to eye problems
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