According to a study by UT Southwestern Medical Center, some patients may need to take dietary supplements and pay attention to their diet before then first thought. This study, published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine, evaluated a group of gastric banding patients and discovered that despite having nutrition counseling over a three-month period following surgery, many patients did not meet basic recommended daily requirements. These nutrients included vitamin D, calcium and protein. The study looked especially at gastric banding patients that many felt had the most issues with nutritional intake.

The study believes that careful screening of patients during the pre-operative process is increasingly important as the recovery process seems more detailed than first expected. The American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery reports that 150,000-160,000 surgical procedures are performed each year with surgeries costs $11,500-$26,000 per surgery (with or without insurance). Gastric sleeve gastrectomy accounts for 60% of all surgeries, 10% for gastric banding and 29% for gastric bypass surgery.

Many experts believe there aren’t as many nutritional precautions with gastric banding surgery as with other more invasive options. However, this study clearly showed that many gastric banding patients are prone to many nutritional deficiencies post-surgery. This happens even after they take the required supplements and receive intense nutritional counseling. Gastric banding involves using an adjustable band around the top part of the stomach creating a small stomach pouch. Because their stomach is significantly smaller, they are eating less and missing out on some of the body’s most important nutrients.

The study looked at a group of 23 different study participants which had nutritional deficiencies that were serious. At least 86% of these people did not meet recommended requirements for vitamin D and calcium. Also many of these participants showed signs of anemia at three months following surgery.

Doctors suggest that bariatric surgery patients consume protein-rich foods which will help them to meet the body’s daily protein requirement. They also should increase their vitamins and minerals too. Fatty fish in the diet also helps to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the body. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts also will help patients to boost their recommended daily fiber intake. All saturated and trans fat should be replaced with vegetable oils to increase monounsaturated fat intake. Also, reduce processed food to reduce sodium intake.