A recent study published in a Bariatric Surgery journal explained that patients who have undergone bariatric weight loss surgery (WLS) should take nutritional supplements to protect their eyes.
Eye Risks After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery can be life-saving; however, one of the drawbacks of these operations is that patients can develop nutritional deficiencies simply because they are taking in fewer calories. Other factors include:
- food intolerances
- an unbalanced diet
- decreased surface area in the small intestine
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), bariatric surgeries include those that facilitate weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold — for example, the Gastric Sleeve (Sleeve Gastrectomy) procedure.
Such surgeries also include those that cause weight loss primarily as a result of malabsorption of nutrients, and those that cause weight loss both by gastric restriction and malabsorption.
These procedures reduce nutrient absorption from food, which study authors say can lead to a wide range of eye conditions.
Nutrition Deficiencies can Damage the Eye
Nutrient deficiencies, particularly a lack of Vitamin A, over the long term can cause:
- night blindness
- corneal changes
- dry eyes
- involuntary eye movement
- paralysis of the eye muscles
Post-Surgery Check-Ins with Your Eye Doctor
Therefore, bariatric surgery patients should follow the recommendations of their nutritionists and be sure to check in with their eye doctor following surgery.
If you’ve undergone bariatric surgery, contact Dr. Scharfman today to make sure your eyes are in good health. Your sight is too precious to risk!