What are the potential long-term nutritional complications of weight-loss surgery?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion carry a possibility for nutritional problems. All these problems are avoidable - if you take your vitamin and mineral supplements everyday and have your laboratory tests checked as instructed. The sleeve gastrectomy may have risk of vitamin B deficiency. The Lap-Band carries almost no nutritional risk, but we recommend a daily multivitamin.

Vitamin Deficiency: Since you'll consume less food after surgery, you'll also absorb fewer vitamins and nutrients. In addition, certain areas of the stomach and intestine that absorb specific vitamins may no longer be in contact with food, raising the possibility for nutritional deficiencies. Other parts of the intestine can compensate, but only if greater amounts of the vitamins, especially B12, are consumed. Biliopancreatic diversion causes poor absorption of fat. Certain vitamins are absorbed only in the presence of fat - A, D, E and K - raising the potential for deficiencies. This can be remedied by taking a daily vitamin called ADEKS, which contains all these vitamins in a water-soluble form. Our dietician will discuss these issues with you and provide you with written materials regarding your specific operation.

Protein Deficiency: As food intake decreases, so will your intake of protein. Therefore, it is important that you eat enough protein, which will prevent your body from breaking down muscle in order to get the protein it needs. Our dietician will outline the best foods and supplements to take in order to maintain sufficient protein intake.

Mineral Deficiency: Calcium and iron deficiencies can be a problem after bariatric surgery, especially in women. Patients should consume about 1,500 to 2,000 mg of calcium supplements Our dietician will also recommend foods high in calcium. In addition, menstruating women must take iron to prevent anemia.