If you know someone who is currently affected by obesity, it is possible that their doctor could recommend weight loss treatment through surgery, known as bariatric surgery. The rate of bariatric surgeries, which has been linked to cutting the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, has increased in the past 10 years to 170k + procedures per year in the U.S. This is not surprising, considering that 35.7% of U.S. adults are affected by obesity.
Medical guidelines in which patients may be considered for bariatric surgery include* having either a body mass index (BMI)** of 40 or higher (20 to 25 is considered normal), or a BMI between 35 and 40 and an obesity-related condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension or severe sleep apnea.
Bariatric surgery is primarily offered as one of four different procedures: Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, where the stomach is reduced to a small pouch and part of the small intestine is bypassed; an adjustable Gastric Band, where a band is placed around the stomach to restrict the amount of food that can be eaten and slow the passage of food through the stomach; Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, where about two-thirds of the stomach is removed; and Duodenal Switch, which combines a sleeve gastrectomy with a bypass of a part of the intestines.
Bariatric surgery – like any major surgery – has advantages and disadvantages . Despite the risks of surgery, most patients experience significant improvements in health and quality of life. There is, however, a significant risk that extends beyond the operating table: nutritional deficiencies.
What’s at risk?
As a bariatric surgery patient, understanding their biochemistry and how the procedure affects their nutrient levels is integral to their long-term health and success. While nutrition, lifestyle, and supplements are the daily keys to the patient’s longevity and quality of life, it’s important to follow labs to make sure they are staying as healthy as possible.
Factors that can contribute to risk for nutritional deficiencies include vomiting, decreased food intake, food intolerance, reduction of gastric secretions, and bypass of absorption surface areas. Because of the rerouted digestion in the body, levels of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, such as iron, B12, vitamin D, and folic acid, can decrease. Since these risks exist in life after surgery, there is a crucial need for post-op labs to monitor and manage these essential nutrients. Failure to comprehensively and consistently monitor these levels could result in debilitating if not fatal consequences, such as anemia, bone loss, loss of function and permanent mental decline.
How WellnessFX can help
WellnessFX is the low-cost leader in direct lab orders, and has solutions for maintenance as well as prevention, no matter where a person is at on their wellness journey. Realizing that post-bariatric surgery patients were paying thousands per year out-of-pocket on critical lab tests, we decided to offer a new suite of bariatric panel lab tests to help them identify nutritional deficiencies and maximize long-term health. Based on the latest professional guidelines, these comprehensive metabolic panels (CMP) are intended to improve their quality of life and possibly prolong lifespan.
If you know anyone managing their health after weight loss surgery, there is now a low-cost solution for them starting as low as $185. Direct them to visit our newly released Bariatric package here to learn more, and help share this post to empower more people to take control of their health.
*When conducting evaluation for bariatric surgery, a candidate’s nutrition and weight history, age, medical condition, psychological status, and motivation are also considered, in addition to BMI mentioned in the post above.
**BMI is a calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by height in meters squared
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.