Vitamin recommendations following bariatric surgery

Last Modified: 6/25/2021


This post was written by Stacey Boswell, PA, PPG – Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery.

Bariatric surgery is weight loss surgery for obese or significantly overweight individuals. After a patient undergoes bariatric or weight loss surgery, their portion sizes are drastically smaller, as their stomach size has been reduced. Since individuals are eating less, nutritious food choices are important. Their ability to absorb vitamins and micronutrients may also change.

Vitamin supplementation can help the patient avoid potentially serious vitamin deficiencies. Because of this, bariatric patients need to be educated on the lifelong need for vitamin supplementation following surgery.

Vitamin recommendations

Those who undergo one of the two most common bariatric procedures – sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass – can expect to take, at a minimum, a daily multivitamin with iron and calcium citrate and 500mg of vitamin D3 three times per day. The patient’s care team will determine the vitamin supplement needs on a case-by-case basis. Additional vitamin supplements can include additional vitamin D, iron, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B12.

Patients should follow up post-operatively with their bariatric care team to monitor vitamin levels through bloodwork. With knowledge, a nutritious diet and routine vitamin use, serious vitamin deficiencies are rare following surgery.

The team at Parkview Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery is happy to help individuals determine which vitamins meet the needs of our post-operative patients.

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