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Vitamin Supplementation after Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery has been increasingly more common. It has been shown to be the most effective and durable treatment for patient who is considered morbidily obese.  Morbidity obesity is defined as having a BMI as greater or equal to 30.  Surgery can result in a large weight loss and improve numerous health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and certain cancers.

It's Important to Have a Nutrition Plan Following Weight Loss Surgery

The weeks following bariatric surgery, patients will make a nutrition plan with a dietitian and start to take vitamins.  Vitamins are started around 3 weeks post-surgery.  Patients will need to be able to first tolerate soft proteins for 1 week before starting a bariatric multivitamin.  It is very important for patients to take vitamins and supplements.  Lifelong vitamin supplementation is critical to prevent long term medical complications.  Vitamin deficiency can occur in up to 33% of patients after weight loss surgery if they are not taking a bariatric multivitamin.  Vitamin deficiency can result in hospital re-admissions, brittle bones, anemia, loss of hair, tooth decay, headaches, dry skin, and joint pain.

Vitamins and Medications May Absorb Differently

Depending on the procedure, prescription and over the counter medications may be absorbed differently.  Especially early after the procedure, large tablets or capsule are not recommended due to the possibility of the pills becoming stuck.  Instead different forms may be required to take your medication as prescribed.  Medications may need to be crushed or changed to a chewable or liquid formulation instead.

There are different brands of bariatric vitamins available.  Here at CHI Immanuel Pharmacy we carry the Bariatric Fusion multivitamin.  Bariatric Fusion is a complete vitamin that contains everything needed following surgery.  For gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy it is recommended to chew 1 tablet four times daily.  For adjustable gastric band it is recommended to chew 2 tablets daily.  We have 4 flavors available including tropical, orange cream, wild cherry, and mixed berry.   We also carry Bariatric fusion multivitamin capsule that patients can start about a year after surgery or as directed by your doctor.

Learn if you are at risk and may need Bariatric Surgery with our Weight Risk Assessment.

Jenn Hummel, PharmD
Jenn Hummel, PharmD

Jenn Hummel, PharmD is the Supervisor at the CHI Health Immanuel retail pharmacy.

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