POSTERS COMMENT: "Although this research finding is only peripherally related to our situation it is reasonable to speculate that low vitamin D levels could have a similar negative effect in cases of radical Upper G I surgery. Worth bearing in mind when considering taking supplements either pre or post OP."
Low vitamin D levels may impair outcome of bariatric surgery
US study found that patients in northern regions and in wintertime had longer hospital stays and delayed wound healing.
A patient's vitamin D level seems to play a role in bariatric surgery outcome. According to a study published in "Obesity Science & Practice", surgery outcomes are associated with vitamin D status, the geographical location and the time of year, respectively.
The team, led by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (Maryland), analysed data from more than 930,000 bariatric surgeries carried out between 2001 and 2010. Overall, the rate of post-operative complications was very low and reached only one per cent.
One of the most common outcomes was that patients had to stay in hospital a few days longer than planned. This also clearly exhibited the strongest relationship with geography and time of year. About one-third of all surgeries led to extended hospital stays and 71 per cent of these occurred in states north of 37 degrees.
Researchers also found a connection between delayed healing of wounds and the season. During the winter months, which are less sunny and low in vitamin D, 349 (0.16 per cent) patients experienced this type of complication compared with only 172 patients (0.07 per cent) in the summer months.
Nonetheless, the results alone are not a reason to recommend use of vitamin D supplements to prevent complications after bariatric surgery, emphasised the researchers. However, since many obese people are vitamin D deficient, patients should be screened prior to surgery.
Obesity Science & Practice (abstract)
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