Thinking about Bariatric Surgery?
Click on the video below for vitamin needs before and after surgery.
What Is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery, or weight-loss surgery, is a procedure performed to restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold, often enabling significant weight loss. Bariatric procedures work by causing malabsorption, restricting the size of the stomach, or a combination of both. The most common surgeries performed are a gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, and gastric sleeve surgery.
Types Of Bariatric Procedures
There are a variety of safe and effective weight-loss procedures that lead to successful outcomes. Most of these procedures are performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic technology, allowing patients to recover and return home quickly.
Often regarded as the most popular weight loss surgery, the gastric bypass procedure works by altering the way your stomach and small intestines handle the food you eat. After the procedure, the size of your stomach is reduced, making you feel full with less food. During this procedure, the surgeon will also re-route, or bypass, a part of your digestive system, reducing absorption of nutrients. This allows food to bypass most of your stomach and the first part of your small intestine, sending it directly to the middle part of your small intestine.
- Quick recovery time
- Long-term weight loss
- Reduces appetite
- More complex and higher complication rates
- Greater chance of vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Requires a lifelong adherence to strict diets, supplementations, etc.
LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding
LAP-BAND® System is a weight-loss tool that works by using a gastric band to limit the amount of food you can eat. This FDA-approved procedure is the second most frequently performed bariatric surgery in the United States. It works by placing an inflatable band around the upper stomach, creating a small pouch above the gastric band. This band can be adjusted as you lose weight and even removed entirely, making it a popular choice for those who are put off by the permanence of other bariatric surgeries.
- Is reversible and adjustable
- Can improve obesity-related comorbidities (acid reflux disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.)
- Reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold
- No cutting or rerouting of the intestines
- Low risk of vitamin deficiencies
- Does not reduce hunger
- Slower weight loss than other procedures
- Overeating can result in pain or vomiting
- Susceptible to mechanical problems
- Requires strict post-op diet restrictions
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery has earned a reputation for offering significant weight loss and low complication rates. The procedure works by removing approximately 80 percent of the stomach, leaving behind a “sleeve”-shaped stomach that limits the amount of food that can be eaten and the number of calories that can be absorbed.
- Reduces hunger
- Restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold
- Short operation time
- No re-routing of intestines required
- No regular adjustments
- Can cause long-term vitamin deficiencies
- Has a higher complication rate than the gastric band
Why Get Bariatric Surgery?
Because obesity and all of its health complications have increased at an alarming rate in the United States, bariatric surgery has become a powerful and effective tool for helping overweight people make a sustainable change. According to this study, 95 percent of patients who received a weight-loss surgery reported that in just a year’s time their quality of life improved.
Obesity is associated with a number of serious health threats. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Obesity is a serious concern because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes, reduced quality of life, and the leading causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.”
Whether it’s gastric bypass, lap band surgery, or sleeve gastrectomy, bariatric procedures have proven to help patients improve their health and achieve long-term success.
Not only have bariatric procedures helped improve the health of patients, but they have also been an effective way of reducing depression and increasing overall quality of life. Many overweight people report feeling depressed because of poor body image and the social stigma of being obese. Weight-loss surgery can reduce these feelings and offer long-term cosmetic benefits.
Is Bariatric Surgery Right For Me?
Before committing to a weight-loss surgery, it is crucial to consult with bariatric medical professionals. In addition to helping you decide whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, they will also help you understand how it will impact your body, lifestyle, and diet.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, to be considered for a weight-loss surgery, the following criteria must typically be met:
- Patients who have a BMI ≥ 40, or more than 100 pounds overweight.
- Patients who have a BMI ≥ 35 and at least one or more obesity-related comorbidities such as type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and other respiratory disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease.
- Patients who have been unsuccessful with other medically managed weight-loss programs.
If you are significantly overweight and want to make a lifestyle change, you may be a candidate for weight-loss surgery. Contact your doctor to learn more. Those who have the best chance of success are those who have worked with experienced physicians, surgeons, psychologists, dietitians, and other bariatric medical physicians.
Life After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgeries are not a cure for obesity. These surgeries are intended to aid you in the process of losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The success of your treatment depends upon your ability to adhere to a healthy diet, exercise plan, and lifestyle changes.
After completing a bariatric surgery, it is of the utmost importance to adhere to stringent diet guidelines. This will ensure that you are getting the right number of calories while also preventing nutritional deficiencies. Many doctors recommend following a diet low in calories, fats, and sweets. Your doctor or dietitian will walk you through the proper diet plan and explain what you should eat and how much you can eat.
Weight-loss surgeries are intended to be used in conjunction with other weight management techniques like exercising. Regularly exercising several times a week should be the goal after you have recovered from surgery. Committing to a lifelong exercise program is crucial to each patient’s long-term success.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits and physical activity is crucial to the long-term success of your bariatric procedure. If lifestyle choices do not change, the weight will return.
Vitamins And Supplements
Regardless of the type of bariatric surgery performed, the one thing that remains true is that you will eat less. This naturally makes you more susceptible to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, nutritional deficiencies are unrecognized in approximately 50 percent of patients who underwent bariatric surgery. Below are some of the key vitamins and nutrients that are essential for patients post-surgery.
Vitamin A — Essential to overall health, vitamin A promotes growth, immune system health, vision, and more. The most common sources of vitamin A are through retinol and beta-carotene, which can be found in eggs, fatty fish, carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale.
Vitamin C — Low levels of vitamin C can affect tissue repair, weaken the immune system, cause slow wound healing, and more. Without having the proper amount of vitamin C, bariatric patients are more likely to have complications after surgery and face potentially long-term effects.
Folate — As one of the key building blocks necessary for all human cells, folate is necessary for the formation of new cells. Folate deficiencies can lead to a number of issues, like megaloblastic anemia and neurological and psychiatric problems.
Calcium and Vitamin D — Calcium and vitamin D are responsible for maintaining and developing strong bones and cells. For bariatric patients, it is crucial to use nutritional supplements to ensure that their systems are getting highly absorbable doses of calcium citrate and carbonate, as well as vitamin D. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include bone fractures, fatigue, and weakness.
Vitamin E — Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant in the body that helps support immune system function. While vitamin E deficiencies are rare, they can occur and the effects include neurological symptoms, muscle weakness, retinal degeneration, and more.
Vitamin B12 — Vitamin B12 deficiencies are one of the most common problems for those who have undergone a bariatric surgery. Vitamin B12 helps the body produce new red blood cells and metabolize fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include weak and sore arms and legs, poor reflexes, and more.
Thiamine — Also known as vitamin B1, thiamine is integral to the conversion of food into energy, brain function, and nerve function. Because the body is unable to store thiamine, it is necessary for it to be consumed each day. For bariatric patients, maintaining proper thiamine levels is crucial to maintaining good health.
Iron — While iron deficiencies are surprisingly common in the United States, they are even more common among bariatric patients. Not only can low iron complicate bariatric surgery, but it can also cause trouble post-surgery. Specifically, with gastric bypass surgery, iron levels become harder to maintain because the primary area where iron is absorbed is bypassed. For this reason, many physicians will recommend regularly taking iron as a preventative measure.
Most deficiencies are easier to prevent than to treat. For this reason, it is imperative to consult with your doctor post-surgery and adhere to the professional recommendations received.
Why Choose Inovera – Forvia?
Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function properly. Getting the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals can be difficult. This is especially true for those who have undergone a weight-loss surgery. Bariatric surgery dramatically decreases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients or it significantly restricts the amount of food you can consume.
FORVIA is designed for the specific needs of patients preparing for or recovering from bariatric surgery. FORVIA chewables and tablets have been formulated using the growing medical knowledge of the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients. The vitamins and minerals in FORVIA have been chosen based on the findings of common nutritional deficiencies and needs of those who have malabsorption.
Benefits of FORVIA
- Contains vitamin A, C, D, E, and K
- Comes in water-miscible form to enable optimal absorption
- Contains zinc, B12, calcium diphosphate (a “non-gassy” form of calcium)
- Is lactose-free and gluten-free
- Requires no prescription
- Manufactured in the United States
- Includes money-back guarantee
Learn more about the benefits of FORVIA here.
Before making any decisions about what bariatric procedure is right for you, be sure to consult with a dietitian, nutritionist, or physician who is an expert in bariatric solutions. Ask your health care provider if FORVIA might be the right option for your nutritional needs.