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Q: Why do I have to take vitamins after getting weight-loss surgery?

After bariatric surgery, you won’t be consuming as much food, and your body will also not absorb as many of the nutrients you eat. This is why it’s important that you take daily vitamins, to make sure you are meeting all of your body’s nutritional needs. The amount and type of vitamins you need will depend on what kind of surgery you have. They might include a basic multivitamin, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, and iron. These are available without a prescription. You will work with a dietician to come up with a diet and vitamin plan to meet your nutritional needs.

Bariatric surgery isn’t a quick fix for obesity. It’s a tool that can help you make a significant change in your life in order to lose weight and get healthy. Along with the surgery, you’ll need to make major lifestyle changes, including working with a nutritionist, attending counseling sessions and a monthly support group, engaging in regular exercise, eating small healthy meals throughout the day, and taking vitamins to make sure you are getting adequate nutrition.

You can learn more about these lifestyle changes at one of Maui’s free monthly weight loss seminars, held every last Tuesday of the month from 4:30 to 7:30 pm, at Maui Memorial Medical Center. For more information and class schedules, visit mauibariatricsurgery.com or call 808.856.4060.

Art Chasen, MD
Bariatric Surgeon