We get lots of enquiries about when and which blood tests are required before and after your surgery. There is so much to think about! Having a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy changes the way you absorb certain nutrients. It is vital to take specific nutritional supplements for the rest of your life to reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies. This can really impact how you feel, and how you recover. It is also vital that you have regular blood tests so that nutritional deficiencies can be detected and treated.
During your initial 12-month dietitian package at Brisbane Obesity Clinic, we will arrange your blood tests and prescribe nutritional supplements for you. Blood tests are generally done prior to your procedure (at the Wesley Pre-Admissions Clinic) as well as at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months post-op. After this point, it is recommended to get your blood test done annually, or more frequently; with your GP, if any deficiencies have been identified, but it is your responsibility to organise this. We will always “cc” your GP in to receive the results of your blood tests to keep them informed.
Blood tests allow us to identify any nutritional deficiencies and distinguish between pre-existing nutritional concerns and those that might have occurred due to surgery. We test for:
- Vitamin A – important for helping your body’s natural defence against illness and infection (immune system) and also your vision.
- Parathyroid hormone – This chemical regulates the amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in the bones and blood.
- Active B12 – important for your nerve and blood cell health. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anaemia that makes people tired and weak.
- Serum folate
- Serum zinc
- Thiamine pyrophosphate
- Liver Function Tests (LFTs)
- Serum magnesium
- Full blood count
- Vitamin D
- Iron studies – Having either too little or too much iron can cause problems
- Lipid profile (for those with a history of dyslipidaemia)
- Blood glucose levels / HbA1c (for those with Diabetes or a history of high blood glucose levels).
After surgery, you are highly unlikely to receive and absorb all your vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat due to the enormous change your digestive system has had. Thus, lifelong compliance with the recommended supplements is crucial after all bariatric procedures. The recommended supplements may vary for each individual depending on your blood test results as well as the type of procedure you have had.
Please contact us here or call us on 3871 2277 if you are unsure which supplements to take or if you are struggling with taking your supplements.