Bariatric surgery changes many aspects of your life and medications are no exception. Most patients are prescribed certain medications and supplements after their surgery because they are at risk for nutrient deficiencies. However, the surgery can also affect which medications are safe to take for other medical conditions and how they are taken.
Individuals having weight loss surgery can expect their overall health to be thoroughly assessed before and after the procedure.
While the bariatric surgery itself, whether lap band, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, can be highly effective at helping individuals to lose weight, part of the healthcare provider’s job is to help patients to address medical conditions that could become a factor for individuals. Medications can improve your health, reduce your symptoms, and potentially reduce risks.
At bariatric surgery centers around the county, the goal is to provide you with thorough care. You’ll get personalized attention to address the needs you have.
Targeting Your Health Risks
One of the first steps before bariatric surgery is a health assessment. It is our goal to address any underlying health conditions you have and work to provide treatment for those needs. You may need to take medications for the treatment of these underlying health conditions. This may include medications for:
High blood pressure: This is common in those who are obese. High blood pressure strains the heart and causes a higher risk for the development of cardiac risks including heart attacks. Many medications are available to address these risk factors and reduce the pressure present in the heart.
Type-2 Diabetes: Many people, who are overweight, are at a higher risk of having Type-2 diabetes. If you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, you may need medications to improve your body’s response to insulin.
You may need insulin injections or other blood sugar controlling medications. If you have diabetes that is untreated, you are at a higher risk of having a stroke or facing other medical conditions.
If you have other health concerns, such as high cholesterol, pain concerns, water retention or other ailments, we’ll work with you to customize a treatment plan that provides attention to these needs.
The underlying goal is to ensure all medical conditions are controlled as much as possible prior to having weight loss surgery. Even after your surgery, you may need to remain on these medications.
Medications After Weight Loss Surgery
When you are at the hospital, both before and after your bariatric surgery, you may be given medications. Those may include:
Acid reduction medications such as Omeprazole can help prevent ulcers and gallstones Multivitamins will be necessary in a high-potency, chewable form Calcium supplements will be necessary (from 1200 to 2000 mg a day) to prevent deficiency Vitamin D (800 to 1000 IUs) will be necessary You may be given B12 supplementation
You may take additional medications to treat any ailments you have, reduce pain or swelling, and to help avoid infections. These are given on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, it is important to note you cannot take any type of extended release medications going forward. These will not work effectively for you after some types of weight loss surgery.
You’ll also work one-on-one with a dietitian to improve your nutrient intake while reducing calories. It’s essential to discuss any health concerns you have with your doctor before and after the procedure.