Post Bariatric Surgery Patients May Have Nutrient Deficiencies

Right now on the website of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal, you can access a free article about the nutritional status of post-bariatric patients — specifically those who have undergone bariatric surgery (gastric bypass or lap band) and then seek body-contouring procedures from a plastic surgeon.

As they lose a significant percentage of their body weight, these patients become prone to nutrient deficiencies.  In this study of 100 bariatric surgery patients (98 gastric bypass and 2 lap band), nearly 18 percent of the subjects showed protein intake levels that were lower than the recommended intake.  Additionally, 39.7 percent showed low iron intake and 11 percent had low intake of vitamin b12.

The Importance of Protein for the Post-Bariatric Patient

Protein intake is important for the post-bariatric patient, for general health reasons as well as surgical reasons.  Protein aids the healing process during recovery from body contouring and its deficiency has been linked to problems such as “decreased wound tensile strength and increased rates of skin and fascial wound breakdown.”

The authors found certain predictors of low protein intake in their subjects. Those with increasing age and those who underwent a greater change in BMI after bariatric surgery were more likely to have a low daily protein intake.  Because food intolerance is relatively common in post-bariatric patients, a higher daily protein allowance may be recommended, the authors suggest.

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