Before and After Bariatric Surgery

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Published on November 22, 2019

Before and After Bariatric Surgery

Why Vitamins Are Important

Photo of vitaminsPhoto of vitaminsAre you considering bariatric surgery? Life after bariatric surgery is a rewarding, committed journey. Prior to surgery, there are lifestyle changes that need to be made in order for the body to adjust. One major factor is taking vitamins, minerals and supplements. Bariatric patients will be instructed by their doctor to take supplements before surgery and then again afterwards.

“Preparing your body before bariatric surgery is just as important as maintaining your body after surgery,” says Justin Braverman MD, Bariatric Surgeon with PIH Health. “Since every patient is different, an individual diet plan will be discussed with your doctor, however vitamins will play a significant role for every bariatric patient.”

Here’s how vitamins, minerals and bariatric supplements play a role in pre and post-op surgery:

  • Fills Nutritional Gaps: Supplements such as Vitamin B12, Iron, Vitamin C and complete multivitamins are all key in helping meet nutritional needs when consuming less food. Bariatric supplements will combine vitamins and minerals together to fill nutritional gaps.
  • Immune System: Taking Vitamin B12 strengthens the immune system and also helps to produce energy. Depending on the type of bariatric surgery, patients may have a harder time releasing B12 through food digestion which is why taking the vitamin post surgery is important.
  • Bones, Muscles and Nerves: Calcium is key when it comes to the bones, muscles and nerves. After surgery, patients are placed on a light, liquid diet, limiting them from most calcium based foods. Therefore, it is recommended that the mineral be taken as a form of calcium citrate or carbonate citrate.

“In addition to vitamins and minerals, a well-balanced, nutritious diet is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Braverman. “A healthy diet and regular exercise, paired with the consumption of vitamins and supplements, will contribute to a successful post-op journey.”

Post-Op Lifestyle Lab classes taught by our team of experts are available for those considering bariatric surgery. An upcoming class on, “Why Vitamins are Important” will be held Tuesday, December 3, 2019 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm. For more information on bariatric surgery or to learn about PIH Health’s Bariatric program, visit:

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.