This post is by Marie Spano, MS, RD
If you are considering weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) or if you have had it already, you know that surgery isn’t a one shot deal. It requires a lifetime of follow up and close attention to nutrition to prevent complications, weight regain, obesity-associated comorbidities and nutrient deficiencies. And, according to the Endocrine Society, the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology, “bariatric surgery is not a guarantee of successful weight loss and maintenance.”
However, proper guidance and follow-up can improve postoperative outcomes. Here are a few of The Endocrine Society’s nutrition recommendations for bariatric surgery patients:
- Get 60 – 120 grams of protein daily to prevent the loss of lean body mass during weight loss.
- Consider long-term vitamin and mineral supplementation. Those who have had malabsorptive procedures (such as RYGB, gastric sleeve or biliopancreatic diversion) may need more extensive nutrition supplementation intervention including regular vitamin D and calcium supplementation.
- Get periodic clinical and biochemical monitoring for micro- and macronutritional deficiencies. If you have had a malabsorptive procedure, you should have your vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, PTH and alkaline phosphatase levels checked every 6 months and also have a DEXA scan to examine bone density yearly until your bone density levels are stable.
- All patients should receive dietary instruction and post-surgery behavior modification after surgery and during long-term follow-up from a medical support team.
If you’d like to read the Endocrine Society’s entire report on Endocrine and Nutritional Management of the Post-Bariatric Surgery Patient, click here.