Nutritional consequences of bariatric surgery

Stavra A. Xanthakos*, Thomas H. Inge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Bariatric surgery is being increasingly used to help treat morbidly obese adults and adolescents. As a greater percentage of this population faces a lifetime of living with surgically altered gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology, increased awareness of the nutritional consequences is critical for all health care practitioners, as many of these patients may be lost to follow-up and can present with significant nutritional complications years after surgery. RECENT FINDINGS: Nutritional deficiencies can occur after bariatric surgery, although to a lesser degree after restrictive procedures. Risk may increase over time, perhaps due to poor compliance with supplementation, continued inadequate intake and/or ongoing malabsorption. Adolescent patients may be at greater risk due to poor compliance and longer life span. Nutritional monitoring and supplementation among bariatric programs has been widely variable and few prospective studies of outcomes exist. SUMMARY: Bariatric surgery can carry significant risk of nutritional complications. Compliance with dietary recommendations should be monitored and encouraged, with annual screening for selected deficiencies. Prospective longitudinal research is needed to identify the true prevalence and significance of nutritional deficiency in these patients and to determine optimum dietary recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-496
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Malnutrition
  • Morbid obesity
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Vitamin deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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