Nutrition, Post Bariatric Patients and Plastic Surgery

A recent article in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery ( the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) highlights the nutritional problems which can occur after bariatric surgery and can then lead to healing difficulties after plastic surgery.  Not all patients who have undergone bariatric surgery will have nutritional problems but without good care some will and these nutritional problems can lead to  increased complications and poor wound healing.   Patients who have undergone a Lap band procedure usually do not have nutritional problems as this procedure encourages weight loss by a restriction on the size of the stomach.  Patients who have undergone either a Roux-en-Y or Duodenal switch procedure   , if they do not take their vitamins and are not vigilant about their protein intake , may have nutritional deficiencies.  In my practice I like to see labs early on in the consultation process so that any deficiencies can be identified and corrected before the date of surgery.  A lot of patients will benefit from supplementation , both protein and vitamins in the postoperative period, to help with the increased demands on their bodies as they heal.  There are a huge number of protein supplements available and nowadays they even taste good!

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