Potential impacts of nutritional deficiency of postbariatric patients on body contouring surgery

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Dec;122(6):1901-1914. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31818d20d6.


Background: Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective method of sustainable weight loss for the morbidly obese patient. In the months to years that follow, many patients develop nutritional deficiencies of proteins, vitamins, and minerals as they present for plastic surgery and body contouring operations.

Methods: The aim of this review is to highlight the nutritional deficiencies of postbariatric patients as related to their planned body contouring surgery. This review was prepared by an extensive search of the PubMed and Ovid databases for terms such as "bariatric surgery," "nutritional deficiency," "wound healing," and "immune response."

Results: The current review indicates that many of the deficient macronutrients and micronutrients of postbariatric patients are implicated in wound healing and optimal immune response.

Conclusions: Although the optimal nutrient intake to promote wound healing is unknown, it is clear that proteins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, arginine, glutamine, iron, zinc, and selenium can have significant beneficial effects on wound healing and optimization of the immune system. Furthermore, vitamin B complex can reduce homocysteine levels, which is inversely associated with the risk of venous thrombosis and endothelial cell dysfunction. The authors' preliminary experience with a nutritional blend that contains all of the aforementioned ingredients has significantly reduced their complication rates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology
  • Malnutrition / complications
  • Malnutrition / etiology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Surgery, Plastic*
  • Wound Healing*