Vitamins May Prevent Eye Complications After Bariatric Surgery

(HealthDay News) — Bariatric surgery patients who don’t take prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements could put themselves at risk for vision problems, according to research published in the Obesity Surgery.

“Patients being submitted to bariatric surgeries, especially malabsorptive procedures, have an increased risk of developing nutrient deficiencies, which can culminate in symptomatic hypovitaminosis, if supplementation is not done correctly,” the researchers wrote.

“The eye and the optic system need an adequate level of several vitamins and minerals to perform properly, especially vitamin A, and this article wants to cover the main nutrients involved, the possible ophthalmic complications that can arise by their deficiency, and the management of those complications.”

The study authors reviewed the available research and found that nutrient deficiencies after bariatric surgery can lead to a wide range of eye conditions. The conditions include night blindness, ulcers, scarring of and changes to the cornea, involuntary eye movement, paralysis of the eye muscles and dry eyes.

A lower intake of vitamins A, E and B1 (thiamine), and copper are especially concerning because they help with the normal functioning of the eye and optic system, the researchers said. They found that vitamin A deficiency was most strongly linked to eye problems after weight-loss surgery.

“There is a risk that bariatric surgery patients, who do not take the vitamin and mineral supplements prescribed to them, could develop eye-related complications because of nutrient deficiencies,” study coauthor Rui Azevedo Guerreiro, MD, of the Lisbon Hospital Central in Portugal, said in a journal news release.


  1. Guerreiro RA and Ribeiro R. Obes Surg. 2014;doi:10.1007/s11695-014-1472-y.