Bariatric surgery is becoming more common—the Endocrine Society estimates that around 200,000 weight loss surgeries were performed last year. Because of this, the society put together a task force that has published guidelines for post-op bariatric surgery follow-up and monitoring.
Seventeen recommendations were published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by the task force headed by David Heber, MD, PhD, of the University of California Los Angeles.
Some of the recommendations include that clinicians should:
- Monitor bone density and serum nutrient levels after weight loss procedures that can reduce nutrient absorption.
- Consider vitamin and mineral supplements for all patients who’ve had weight-loss surgery.
The guidelines also recommended patients should have postoperative diets that include 60 to 120 grams of protein per day both immediately after surgery and for long-term nutritional management.
The task force wrote:
To guide patients through the transition to life after bariatric surgery, a multidisciplinary team that includes an experienced primary care physician, endocrinologist, or gastroenterologist should provide care, and patients should consider enrolling postoperatively in a comprehensive program for nutrition and lifestyle management.
Such support can ease the transition to life after bariatric surgery and may help prevent weight regain.
The task force also recommended that patients should be monitored for nutrient deficiencies, and they included a symptom list for deficiencies in six major vitamins and minerals.
They also called for more rigorous study of diabetes and other metabolic disorders in bariatric surgery patients, to obtain better data on long-term outcomes and possible complications such as insulin-mediated hypoglycemia.
The abstract is available online. Dr. Frenzel at Advanced Cosmetic Surgery in Arlington, Texas is an expert in the field of bariatric surgery, and he performs several weight loss surgeries, including lap band, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve.