Background: Assessment of nutritional status in the growing postbariatric patient population remains controversial. Previous literature suggests that these patients have poor nutrition that may have adverse effects on surgical outcomes. The authors sought to determine the optimal method of nutritional assessment in postbariatric patients. Methods: One hundred patients presenting for body contouring after bariatric surgery were consecutively enrolled in an institutional review board-approved prospective study. A trained nutritionist assessed protein and calorie intake. All patients underwent baseline laboratory assessment. Results: Eighteen percent of subjects had less than the recommended daily protein intake. Hypoalbuminemia was observed in 13.8 percent of subjects, with hypoprealbuminemia in 6.5 percent. Nearly forty percent of all patients had evidence of iron deficiency, with vitamin B12 deficiency present in 14.5 percent. Ten percent of subjects (all women) were confirmed to have iron deficiency anemia. Impaired fasting glucose was seen in 6.2 percent of subjects, whereas 3.6 percent had hemoglobin A1c levels greater than 6.5. Increasing age (odds ratio, 1.07) and greater change in body mass index (odds ratio, 1.11) were predictors of low protein intake. Dumping syndrome led to 13.3 times increased odds of low albumin levels. Conclusions: The results suggest that inadequate nutrition is common among postbariatric patients presenting for body contouring. The lack of correlation between methods of nutritional assessment supports the combination of multiple methods in determining overall nutritional status. The presence of dumping syndrome, a large change in body mass index, and advanced age may help to identify patients with an increased risk of nutritional deficiency.
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