Sleeve Gastrectomy and Vitamins

Why would a doctor recommend VSG with the expectation of taking vitamins for life? Isn't VSG a reduction surgery, not malabsorption?  Why would vitamins be needed forever? 

Doctor Answers 6

Vitamins after sleeve gastrectomy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Vitamin absorption after sleeve gastrectomy is completely normal for most patients.  There is a drop in gastric acid production (85% of stomach is removed) so an occasional patient may need B-12 shots.  However, after surgery we want patients to shrink meals down to 4 ounces of good protein.  Because you will not be eating the same wide variety of food after sleeve gastrectomy, we recommend an over the counter multivitamin.

Vitamins and Minerals and Surgery, Oh My!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Almost all of the vitamins and minerals that we get come from our food.  Couple this with the knowledge of what is in the standard American diet and you can see why many experts recommend that EVERY adult take a daily multivitamin even if they have never had weight loss surgery!. 

After weight loss surgery (regardless of what surgery is done), patients take in significantly less food so they REALLY need to make sure they are taking taking their vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent deficiencies.  Although the exact vitamin and mineral regimen that weight loss surgery patients need is still being debated, I think it is fair to say that the need for some type of supplementation is universally accepted.  

Lloyd Stegemann, MD, FASMBS
Corpus Christi Bariatric Surgeon

Sleeve Gastrectomy and Vitamins

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your stomach makes something called "intrinsic factor" which helps with absorption of B12, so with less stomach there is less intrinsic factor produced so you could become deficient in B12.  Since many people walking around today are vitamin D deficient, you can also develop low Vit D levels.  Taking a multivitamin daily after weight loss surgery will help keep your vitamin levels in a desired range.  Getting your levels checked annually by your medical doctor or Bariatric surgeon will help identify any deficiencies and direct appropriate supplementation.  

Daniel J. Rosen, MD
New York Bariatric Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Sleeve Gastrectomy and Vitamins

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

With all bariatric procedures a daily multivitamin is necessary. It is true that the sleeve gastrectomy is not a malabsorptive procedure however due to the fact that you are eating 80 to 90% less you may become vitamin deficient.  You may not be able to get enough vitamins in with the small amount that you eat. The LapBand also requires a daily multivitamin for that reason.

David Buchin, MD
Long Island Bariatric Surgeon

Vitamin Supplements for Gastric Sleeve patients

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

While it is true that gastric sleeve does not interfere with normal absorption process, but you may require to take vitamin supplements because you may have a less intake of your normal daily portion of food. Just by the nature of surgery, you will be eating less and thus there is lower intake of vitamins and minerals. Among different weight loss surgeries, lap band and gastric sleeve patients are less likely to require daily supplements.

Monali Misra, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Bariatric Surgeon

Sleeve Gastrectomy and Vitamins.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is recommeded to take a multivitamin for patients that had a sleeve gastrectomy.  Even though this procedure does not have significant impact on the overall absorptive funcition, the current standard is to supplement your body with these important nutrients to maximize cellular function. Even if you have not had weight loss surgery, I still recommed a multivitamin to make sure sure that your body is functioning optimally.

Ricardo M. Bonnor, MD, FACS
Houston General Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.