, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 150-154
Date: 01 Apr 1999

Survey of Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation after Gastric Bypass and Biliopancreatic Diversion for Morbid Obesity

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Background: The authors investigated whether practice patterns of bariatric surgeons correlate with published data regarding metabolic deficiencies after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and biliopancreatic diversion (BPD). Methods: 109 surgeons completed a questionnaire to determine use of supplements and frequency of lab tests. Results: Regarding supplements routinely prescribed after RYGB, 96% of surgeons gave multivitamins, 63% gave iron, and 49% gave vitamin B12. After BPD, 96% of surgeons gave multivitamins, 67% gave iron, 42% gave vitamin B12, 97% gave calcium, 63% gave fat-soluble vitamins, and 21% gave protein supplements. Regarding laboratory tests obtained routinely after RYGB, 95% of surgeons do complete blood counts, 56% do iron determinations, 66% do vitamin B12 determinations, 58% do folate determinations, 76% do electrolyte determinations, and 8% test for proteins. After BPD, 96% of surgeons do complete blood counts, 80% do iron determinations, 67% do vitamin B12 determinations, 71% do folate determinations, 88% do electrolyte determinations, 84% do protein determinations, and 46% test for fat-soluble vitamins. Regarding frequency of blood tests, after RYGB, 22% of surgeons obtain them after 3 months, 33% after 6 months, and 41% after 12 months; 4% do not routinely obtain postoperative laboratory tests. After BPD, 46% of surgeons obtain them after 3 months, 33% after 6 months, and 16% after 12 months; one does not obtain laboratory tests. Surgeons estimated these deficiencies after RYGB: 16% iron, 12% vitamin B12, 14% anemia, 5% protein, and 3% calcium. They estimated these deficiencies after BPD: 26% iron, 11% vitamin B12, 21% anemia, 18% protein, 16% calcium, and 6% fat-soluble vitamins. The estimated incidence of deficiencies after RYGB was considerably lower than the published incidence. Unnecessary tests were commonly performed (electrolytes after RYGB). Conclusion: Despite wide variations in the performance of laboratory tests and the use of supplements, the practice patterns of most surgeons protect patients from developing severe metabolic deficiencies after RYGB and BPD.