Post Bariatric Patients Have Special Nutritional Concerns

A new free article on the website of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is about a study of the nutritional status of post-bariatric patients — specifically, persons who have undergone bariatric surgery (gastric bypass or lap band) and subsequently seek body-contouring procedures from a plastic surgeon.

As the bariatric surgery patient rapidly loses body weight, he or she may become prone to nutrient deficiencies. In this study of 98 gastric bypass patients and 2 lap band patients, 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.

Why is Protein Important for the Post-Bariatric Patient?

Protein intake is important 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.

Read more

Nutritional Assessment of Bariatric Surgery, Patients Presenting for Plastic Surgery: A Prospective Analysis Naghshineh, Nima; O’Brien Coon, Devin; McTigue, Kathleen; Courcoulas, Anita P.; Fernstrom, Madelyn; Rubin, J. Peter. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 126(2):602-610, August 2010.

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Dr. Bob Basu
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