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FitForMe Live webinar: Preventing Deficiencies after a Sleeve Gastrectomy

“In the first year after a Sleeve Gastrectomy, 75% of all patients develop one or more deficiencies. This shows that taking no food supplements, is definitely not an option. We need to instruct our patients to take their multivitamins.”

This is one of the conclusions Laura Heusschen drew during a webinar where she, together with Dr. Edo Aarts and Marieke Smelt, presented the results of new research into deficiency prevention after a Sleeve Gastrectomy. Recently, 2 new studies were published on the effectiveness of supplementation after a Gastric Sleeve.

Watch the webinar recording for the full story!

During a 1-hour live session, researchers Dr. Edo Aarts, Laura Heusschen and Marieke Smelt discussed the studies and answered questions from healthcare professionals. The following items were covered:

  • Which deficiencies are most likely to occur after a Gastric Sleeve.
  • How you can help your patients to avoid these deficiencies.
  • About the role of tailored food supplements, compared to standard multivitamins.

    High deficiency prevalence after a Sleeve Gastrectomy

    54% of all bariatric procedures being a Sleeve Gastrectomy in 2018, it is currently the most performed bariatric surgery type worldwide. Some think that there is little risk of developing nutritional deficiencies after this procedure. However, as new studies into the effectiveness of WLS Optimum have shown, deficiencies often occur after a Sleeve Gastrectomy, especially for iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

    The effectiveness of WLS Optimum

    Marieke Smelt, who works as a physician assistant general surgery at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven, did a clinical study on the effectiveness of WLS Optimum. In her study, 970 Sleeve Gastrectomy patients were followed for 48 months, during which blood serum values were measured to identify their nutritional status. In her study, she found the following:

    The right advice for vitamin B12 supplementation

    During the webinar, the question was raised whether usage of intramuscular injections is still to be advised. Conversely, some patients have elevated vitamin B12 levels. On this topic, Edo stated the following:

    The need for lifelong supplementation

    Supplementation compliance is generally low among bariatric patients. Laura found that only 60% of the patients in her study still took their multivitamins after 12 months, even when provided free of charge. However, lifelong supplementation is necessary to prevent long-term complications.