Nutritional Deficiencies Common 5 Years After Bariatric Surgery

Concept of gastric surgery. Surgeon holding scalpel near anatomical model of stomach. Surgery operations and treatment of diseases of stomach same as ulcer, cancer, removal, reflux, bypass or sleeve
Investigators assessed the incidence of nutritional deficiencies in patients who underwent bariatric surgery, despite the frequency of self-reported multivitamin supplement use.

For patients who undergo bariatric surgery, nutritional deficiencies are common years after the procedure, despite the recommendation that people take multivitamin supplements, according to study results published in Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care.

The study included severely obese participants undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), sleeve gastrectomy (SG), and adjustable gastric banding (AGB) between 2010 and 2012 (N=60). The researchers assessed circulating vitamin levels and self-reported dietary supplement use at baseline and 3 and 5 years after surgery.

Of 60 participants, 8 underwent AGB, 36 underwent SG, and 16 underwent RYGB. The mean age was 41.6±11.3 years, and 48 participants were women. No participants reported early postsurgery complications.

At 60 months after surgery, participants’ average weight loss was 29.7±12.4 kg. Mean excess weight body loss was 40.6±20.4 kg, with percentage excess weight loss at 63.1%±26.1%.

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At baseline, 25%, 55%, and 52% of patients with AGB, SG, and RYGB had nutritional deficiencies, respectively. At 5 years, the researchers found nutritional deficiencies in 28% of those who underwent AGB, in 70% of those who underwent SG, and in 87% of those who underwent RYGB.

Before undergoing surgery, few participants reported supplement use. At 3 years after surgery, 61% of participants reported supplement use. This rose to 73% at 5 years, with rates of 37%, 75%, and 94% for participants who underwent AGB, SG, and RYGB, respectively.

“This evidence suggests the need for specific bariatric supplements and frequent hematological checks,” the researchers wrote.

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Lombardo M, Franchi A, Padua E, et al. Potential nutritional deficiencies in obese subjects 5 years after bariatric surgery. Bariatr Surg Pract Patient Care. 2019;14(3):125-130.