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What You Should Know About Post-Surgery Bariatric Vitamins & Bariatric Supplements


If you, or a loved one, are obese and have tried losing weight, you will know how difficult the process can be.

You might decide to undergo weight loss ( bariatric) surgery in certain cases. There are some most common types of obesity surgery, including the sleeve-gastrectomy, gastric bypass, or gastric band. These surgeries not only help you lose weight but also offer new nutritional options. This can include taking several vitamins.

We will be talking about vitamins and weight-loss surgery. What is the importance of vitamins? And what vitamins should you take after your surgery?

How Can Weight Loss Surgery Cause Vitamin Deficiencies?

Your stomach and/or small intestines will change after obesity surgery. While weight loss can be beneficial, it can also lead to nutritional deficiencies. This could include not receiving the right amount of vitamins or minerals.

There are many reasons why this might happen, and the risks can vary depending upon which type of surgery.

Malabsorptive surgeries, like the gastric bypass operation, can skip certain parts of your stomach. This is the place micronutrient absorption occurs. This is what affects micronutrients like the:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate (folic acids)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Calcium

The risk of micronutrient deficiency in a restricted surgery is much lower than in the gastric band procedure. However, this depends on how restrictive your diet may be. It’s possible for you to have vitamin deficiencies, depending on your diet.

Others may have micronutrient deficiency prior to surgery. These can get worse with weight loss.

Vitamins After Bariatric Surgery

Without a prescription, your post-surgery bariatric vitamins and mineral supplements can be purchased. It is best to have them as liquids initially. However, you can likely take them as pills over time.

Multivitamins post-surgery (containing minerals)

No matter what bariatric procedure, you will likely eat less food after your surgery. This makes it harder to meet your nutritional needs every day and can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Complete bariatric multivitamins are simply a mixture of vitamins and minerals that helps you fill in the nutritional gaps.


Calcium is vital for the health of bones, muscles, and nerves. Calcium carbonate or calcium citrate is the most common form of calcium supplement.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, which is often used to prevent memory loss, also boosts energy levels. After surgery, a B12 supplement is recommended.

Other Bariatric Vitamins

Following bariatric surgeries, your vitamin regimen is based on the following:

  • The type of procedure that you have to undergo.
  • The results of your nutritional laboratory work.
  • Additional health issues and concerns that you might have.

Vitamin Recommendations To Patients

Gastric Bypass Surgery: Doctors recommend that patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery take a complete multivitamin, including calcium with Vitamin D and iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12. Other supplements may also be recommended.

Gastric Sleeve: Patients who have gastric sleeves may be required to take a complete multivitamin. This includes Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron and Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12. Other options may be available.

Gastric Band Surgery: Patients undergoing gastric band surgery are often recommended to take a complete multivitamin, calcium, and Vitamin D. Other supplements may also be recommended.

What To Look For When Buying Vitamins And Minerals

Consider the following when choosing a vitamin or mineral supplement after bariatric surgical procedures:

Is this vitamin right for me?

There are many options and formulations when it comes down to choosing a vitamin/mineral supplement. If you have trouble reading the section above, please re-read the section.

How much do I need?

It can be hard to remember to take 2-3 multivitamins throughout the day, then to add 2-3 more calcium chewables or tablets every other day. You will likely do well with multivitamins that require 2 or more pills per day.

It is easier to remember to take your pills than it is to remember to take them. You may also want to consider a one-pill-per-day option.

Do I need to swallow pills?

Avoiding swallowing pills soon after surgery is difficult. Patients who prefer not to swallow pills should take a quality chewable multivitamin daily.

Do I have a trustable brand?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not have to approve vitamins and mineral products before they can be sold in the United States.

Is it possible to afford these medications for the rest of your life?

A typical multivitamin/calcium monthly plan will cost around $70 per month. It is not cheap, but it will pay off if you are able to prevent deficiencies from happening. Avoiding deficiencies is key to maintaining your health after surgery.


Bariatric surgery can be a life-changing experience. It’s crucial to make a good investment in your health.

Choose a specific vitamin for bariatric use that conforms to the ASMBS guidelines. Discuss your needs with your surgeon and dietitian.


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