Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin and mineral supplementation both before and after bariatric surgery is a very important part of a successful procedure and recovery. Before weight loss surgery, patients must be as healthy as possible – the healthier the patient, the lower the risk of complications. After surgery, patients consume and absorb far fewer calories than before – caused either by the procedure’s restrictive or malabsorptive properties. Some essential vitamins and nutrients do not enter the bloodstream in sufficient quantity by food consumption alone and must be supplemented appropriately.
Patients will be expected to start on a supplementation regimen well before surgery. This ensures that there are no essential vitamin or mineral deficiencies. During this time, we also encourage patients to get a head start on their post-op diet as the transition will be much easier after surgery.
Patients will be evaluated for nutritional deficiencies periodically after surgery. At a minimum, all patients have to take a multivitamin every day over the course of the first several months or year. We will suggest additional supplementation should any deficiency occur. The most common deficiencies after surgery include Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, iron and calcium. Patients will also be expected to consume a high level of daily protein, which can be achieved with protein shakes and a modified diet. Protein assists in recovery immediately after surgery as well as in long-term weight loss. Ultimately, individual circumstances and the procedure being performed will determine the amount of supplementation needed.
There are many sources from which a patient can purchase their vitamin and protein supplements. Patients may order them directing from our office or they may choose to purchase their supplements from our online vitamin store.