Will I Still Absorb Nutrients The Same Way After Lap-Band Surgery?
You may have heard that one of the more common side effects patients experience after gastric bypass surgery is vitamin or mineral deficiency. It’s true that close to 30% of all gastric bypass patients experience some form of nutritional deficiency like osteoporosis, anemia or metabolic bone disease. This risk is addressed by taking gastric bypass vitamins. If this happens with gastric bypass patients, you may be wondering if it also occurs with laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (or lap-band) patients.
Malabsorption and Why It Occurs
One of the goals achieved in gastric bypass surgery is malabsorption. Malabsorption is the digestive system’s diminished ability to absorb calories contained in the foods we eat. By bypassing a large portion of the stomach and a section of the small intestine, the surgery makes it possible for some of the calories to pass through the digestive system without getting absorbed into the body. This is one of the reasons why gastric bypass patients generally achieve more rapid weight loss than patients who have had the gastric band procedure.
While fewer calories are being absorbed, the same holds true with the food’s nutritional content: fewer of the vitamins and minerals get absorbed, passing through the digestive system.
Malabsorption and the Lap-Band
Since the laparoscopic adjustable band procedure does not surgically alter your digestive tract, it’s ability to absorb nutrients remains unaffected. Your body will be able to assimilate all the vitamins, minerals and calories found in the foods you eat just as before.
That being said, it does not entirely rule out the possibility of nutritional deficiencies in gastric band patients. It’s very important to remember that after the surgery, you will be able to eat far less food than you can now. That means your food choices will be extremely important to ensure they deliver all the nutrients your body needs.
Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle Post-Surgery
We work with all our patients following their surgery, no matter which procedure they have opted for; to make sure they have a healthy and successful experience post-surgery. The key to that health and success is the adoption of a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. Dietary and eating habits must be altered. Our on-staff nutritionist helps patients come up with a new, nutritional diet that promotes ongoing weight loss while still providing the body with all the vitamins and minerals needed to keep your organs in top working order.