Telehealth available for follow up as well as new consultations. Please contact us Here.
1-818-812-7222 Office Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
10 Congress St., Suite #405
Pasadena, CA 91105

Tag: bariatric surgery

Zoom Group Meeting

September 21, 2020 7:10 am

We are excited to announce we will be having a Zoom group meeting Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 7:00 PM PST.  We hope to see you online!

Registration is required. Please follow the link to the meeting registration.

Topic: Group meeting question and answer
Time: Sep 22, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
These meetings are for general topics and/or basic question and answers.  If you need a more in-depth meeting we would suggest a video or in-person consultation with Dr. Keshishian.  You can request a consultation via this link.  Contact Us

Fat Soluble Vitamins

April 26, 2020 10:20 am

Written By: Maria Vardapetyan, Eric Baghdasaryan, Osheen Abnous

Vitamins are chemicals that facilitate many processes in the human body such as blood clot formation, good vision, fight infections etc. There are two classes of vitamins. Water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water. This makes it possible for them to be absorbed through all mucous membranes. Fat soluble vitamins on the other hand do not dissolve or pass through mucous membranes. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed in the intestine along with fats in the diet. These vitamins have the ability to be stored in the fat tissues of the human body. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and have to be taken in daily with the food and dietary supplements. Solubility of a vitamin is not a function of its physical state. There are fat soluble vitamins that have a liquid form and almost all of the water soluble vitamins come in form of pills or powders.

In this article, we are going to focus on fat soluble vitamins. They are all complex molecules made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in different arrangements (see figures 1, 2, 3 and 4). These fat soluble vitamins are vitamin A, D, E and K.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A has a major role in vision, immune function, cell growth, and maintenance of organs such as heart, kidneys, lungs, etc. It plays a pivotal role in the health of our eyes, specifically the retina1. Rhodopsin protein, a major protein that has the leading role in the process of vision, is found in the retina where it allows us to perceive light. This protein requires vitamin A to function properly. Without vitamin A, rhodopsin cannot sense light and thus cannot initiate the process by which vision occurs.

pastedGraphic.png

 

Figure 1: Chemical structure of Vitamin A molecule

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D regulates different chemical reactions that are associated with bones, muscles, and the immune system. The simplified way it does this regulation is it helps absorb calcium from dietary nutrients which in turn strengthens the bones, helps neurons exchange signals to move muscles and helps the immune system to fight against viruses and bacteria2. 

pastedGraphic_1.pngFigure 2: Chemical structure of Vitamin D molecule

Vitamin E

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals that neutralize toxic byproducts of many chemical reactions in the human body. When food is consumed and digested, the human body converts it into energy. As a result of metabolism free radicals (toxic byproducts) are formed and are neutralized with the help of vitamin E. In addition, free radicals are also in the environment. Furthermore, vitamin E stimulates the immune system to fight against bacteria and viruses3.

pastedGraphic_2.pngFigure 3: Chemical structure of Vitamin E molecule

Vitamin K

Vitamin K can be obtained from food and dietary supplements. There are two forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone (Vitamin K1), which is found in spinach, kale and other greens and menaquinone-4 (Vitamin K2), which is found in animal products. Vitamin K1 is involved in blood clotting, and Vitamin K2 is involved in bone tissue building. Vitamin K1 is the main Vitamin K in human diet (75-90% of all vitamin K consumed), however, it is poorly absorbed in the body4,5. 

pastedGraphic_3.png

Figure 4: Chemical structures of Vitamin K1 and K2 molecules

Absorption of fat soluble vitamins

Polarity describes the inherent charge(positive or negative) or lack of charge for any given substance or molecule.  Molecules that are charged are referred to as “polar”, while those that lack charge are “nonpolar”. When discussing solubility, it is important to remember the phrase “like dissolves like”. That means polar (charged) substances like to interact with a polar environment like water, since water contains a slight negative charge. Hence, charged substances are water-soluble. Nonpolar substances on the other hand readily interact with nonpolar environments such as fat, which contains no charge. Therefore, molecules that lack a charge such as vitamins A, D, E, and K are referred to as fat soluble. 

 

Due to their water fearing nature, these fat soluble vitamins cannot simply be absorbed directly into the bloodstream (which is mostly water) like the sugars and amino acids in our diet. As their name suggests, these fat soluble vitamins like to be embedded in fatty droplets, which facilitate their absorption in the following way. Fat soluble vitamins group together with other fat molecules to form fatty droplets, effectively reducing the amount of interaction with the watery environment of the intestines. Therefore, without an adequate amount of fat in your diet, your body is unable to effectively absorb these fat-soluble vitamins. This may be true in an intact anatomy, however, post weight loss surgical patients can not increase their fat soluble vitamin levels by increasing their fat intake. This is due to the fact that a high fat diet causes excessive bowel movement which in turn washes away any vitamins taken by mouth. DS limits fat absorption (thus the great weight loss) which can cause vitamin A and D deficiency that can not be easily corrected with oral supplementation.

As mentioned before, fat soluble vitamins are hydrophobic and nonpolar, which means they are also fat loving or lipophilic. Excess fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the liver and fat tissue. Therefore, these vitamins do not need to be eaten every single day since stores of these vitamins can sustain a person for some time. It may take several weeks or months for our body to deplete these stores of fat soluble vitamins which is why it generally takes a longer amount of time for fat soluble vitamin deficiencies to manifest themselves. The ability to store these fat soluble vitamins in tissues can also lead to vitamin toxicity – marked by an excess of vitamin stores in our body. 

Clinical manifestations of A, D, E, K deficiency

Vitamin Clinical Deficiency manifestations
Vitamin A Vision Problems

Night blindness 

Dryness of the eye

Vitamin D Softening and weakening of the bones

Decreased bone formation 

Bone shape distortion

Bowed legs (generally in children)

Hypocalcemia 

Vitamin E Damage to red blood cells 

Tissue/organ damage due to inability to supply enough blood

Vision problems

Nervous tissue malfunction

Vitamin K1  Excessive bruising

Increased bleeding time

Small blood clots under nails

Increased bleeding in mucous membrane

Vitamin K2  Weak bones

Increased plaque deposits along gumline

Arterial calcification

 

 

References

  1. Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin A. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/#. Accessed April 26, 2020.
  1. Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin D. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/. Accessed April 26, 2020.
  1. Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin E. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/. Accessed April 26, 2020.
  1. Vitamin K. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-k/. Published July 2, 2019. Accessed April 26, 2020.
  1. Beulens JWJ, Booth SL, van den Heuvel EGHM, Stoecklin E, Baka A, Vermeer C. The role of menaquinones (vitamin K₂) in human health. The British journal of nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23590754. Published October 2013. Accessed April 26, 2020.

Medication Absorption After Weight Loss Surgery

March 30, 2020 8:01 am

Weight loss surgical procedures, in one form or another, achieve the desired effect of weight loss by altering absorption of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. This results in decreased total absorption of required calories.

An unintended consequence is the altered absorption of medications. Frequently I am asked about the specific medication. Usually the answer is vague since the information is limited on specific medications. If the desired effect is not achieved, then it is probably  not being absorbed well. Specially, if the same dose of the same medication working well before surgery.

There is a summary article about the Theoretical absorption pattern of different weight loss surgical procedures.

Vitamin D Metabolism and Deficiency file

March 28, 2020 8:17 am

It’s important to understand Vitamin D metabolism and deficiency potential following weight loss surgery Vitamins after DS need to be followed via laboratory blood studies. There are basic vitamin needs but individual needs should be based on medical history, genetics, alimentary limb length, common channel length and other surgical and physiologic determinations. Vitamins after DS are a life long commitment as well as protein needs and hydration. Duodenal Switch is a malabsorptive procedure which requires at least yearly laboratory blood studies, daily vitamins/minerals, daily high protein and daily hydration intake. There is not an all in one vitamin that is adequate for a DS patient or tailored to your individual needs. (example: you may need more Vitamin D and less Vitamin A if you are taking a all-in-one vitamin you can’t get more of one and less of another vitamin)

DS patients are recommended to take Dry forms (water miscible form) of Vitamin A, D3, E, K due to the fat malabsorption after DS. Dry formulations by Biotech are processed so they can be absorbed by a water soluble method after the DS procedure. Vitamin D seems to be the vitamin that can become deficient the easiest, followed by Vitamin A. Take these vitamins away from dietary fat.

In some cases, patients may need injectable Vitamin A or D to improve vitamin levels.

Click the links to view the information below and within the comments of this file:
Vitamin D3 50 by Biotech:  Amazon
directly from BioTech:

Many DS surgeon’s do not recommend Children’s vitamins or chewable vitamins unless there is a specific reason or need for them.
DS Surgeon Blog on Vitamin D:
Webinar on Vitamin D metabolism:
Medications that effect Bone health:
This does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or prescribing. It is simply a compiled list of gathered information. If you are in doubt or have questions please contact your medical healthcare professional.

Articles

March 22, 2020 6:57 pm

We have added a new section of compiled articles to our website. This page will allow us to compile sicentific articles all in one place for easy reference. The page allows the reader to search for articles based on the subject matter. We will continue to add to this list of article as new ones become available.

Length of Bowel : Hess or No Hess

March 22, 2020 5:58 pm

“…What is the length of my common channel” is probably one of the frequently asked questions about the duodenal switch operation in the office. This usually comes up at the initial consult when patients repost credible sources such as Dr. Google and Dr. Facebook for patient with different bowel length have done well or not so after duodenal switch operation. Dr. Hess described the Duodenal Switch by using total bowel length measurements and creating the common channel as a percentage of the total small bowel length.  However, it seems that this is being done less and less.

This leads to my explanation that is on the website

Hess calculator : Bowel Length Calculator

How the actual measurements matters: Bowel length video link

In 2019, Bekheit et.al published a very interesting study comparing total small bowel length (TSBL) to a number of variables such as height, weight, sex and BMI. They identified a few loose correlations. Male patient have longer TBSL than females. There was correlation between TSBL and height stronger in males than females but not statistically significant.

In Conclusion they reported ” Despite statistical significance of the correlation between the TSBL and the height and weight of the included participants, the correlation seems to have no clinical meaning since the effect size is negligible. ”

As I have previously discussed this  Making the common and alimentary length standard for every duodenal switch patient will make some loose too much and other not enough weight.

Figure 1 shows TSBL on the horizontal axis, and height, weight, BMI and Age on the vertical axis. For the most part what they all show is that one can not predict how long a patients bowel is by any of the measures that we take in the office as a part of the routine exam.

This raises, the concerns  that I had raised previously. How could two similar patients who have the same weight, age, sex and BMI have the same surgery and expect the same result if one of them has TSBL of 400 cm and the other one 800cm?


If both of the patients get the same “cookie cutter” duodenal switch with the same lengths, then the patient with TSBL of 400 will have much longer common channel if the surgeon does not customize the length of the bowel. This is an example of many patients whom we have revised over the years where they had a duodenal switch done with the “standard” 125cm common channel and when we measured the total length the patient had 500 cm TSBL.

Additional Links here.

Stapled Anastomosis

December 30, 2019 11:23 am

As I was looking over old archives, I came across the following pictures that were taken years ago. These were photographs taken to demonstrate the technique for the construction of the anastomosis of the biliopancreatic channel and alimentary channel of the Duodenal Switch.

The steps of doing the stapled anastomosis of the Duodenal Switch is generally unchanged during the laparoscopic approach to the procedure.

The fist step is to align the bowel to be joined.

The stitches are placed to secure the bowel together. Two small openings are made in each limb of the bowel to be stapled together (the biliopancreatic limb on the  bottom and the alimentary on the top of the image).

It is important to also align the bowel in the same peristalsis direction. This means that the contraction and the relaxation motion of the bowel should all point in the same direction. This should reduce the risk of complications such as intussusception.

The stapler is then fired in opposite directions to create wide anastomosis.

When the stapler is fired in opposite direction, a very wide anastomosis is created.

 

Closure
Closing the opening that was made

Once the anastomosis is created, then the last staple is used to close the opening that was made. This staple line is perpendicular to the direction of the anastomosis to avoid making the opening narrow.

We originally published this technique in 2003 on Obesity Surgery Journal.

Protein Intake

October 14, 2019 7:08 am

Protein intake requirements change over time following weight loss surgery. This is based on the requirements imposed on our body by a number of variables. These include, activity level, muscle mass, over all health condition to name a few.

A very young muscular athletic male with a BMI or 30 will require much higher protein intake (and absorption) that an inactive older Female with the same BMI. The same young athletic male will require much higher protein intake is he is recovering from a surgery than his baseline.

As we have stated in the past, the protein intake, should be adequate and not excessive. High level of protein intake that are not accounted  for based on muscle mass and activity level, will eventually result in weight gain. The best measure of protein intake in a stable weight patient over 3-4 years post op  is their albumin and protein level. Following your yearly laboratory values at a minimum is an important part of weight loss surgery follow up care.

You also need to adjust protein intake when necessary. Protein needs increase depending on physical needs, infection, healing, pregnancy, surgery, age, injury, etc. Plastic surgery requires higher protein needs for appropriate healing.

Information on protein sources and quality here.

The basic formula for protein intake is 1gm/kg of ideal body weight. The calculator below will provide a guide for the protein into based on your stable weight in lbs.

Flagyl

September 25, 2019 9:07 am

Flagyl is sometimes prescribed for excessive gas and diarrhea. It is an antibiotics that works well on certain bacteria that accumulates in the GI tract and contributes to the gas and the bloating. 

These bad bacteria flourish when patients consume significant and excessive fiber and carbohydrates (sugars, salad, pasta etc.) The FIRST line of defense against flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea should be eleminating the culprits in the diet.  This point can not be stressed enough.   Adding a daily dose of yogurt may improve symptoms due to yogurts probiotic benefits. To be beneficial, Yogurt should contain live bacteria cultures, not contain artificial sweeteners or have a high sugar content.

Artificial sweetness also area source of the excessive gas and should be avoided.

The Flagyl eliminates and reduces the bad bacteria. Along with a Probiotic and healthy dietary choices Flagyl can help to significantly improved or eliminate those symptoms of gas and diarrhea.

Before Flagyl is prescribed, it is important that the diet is critically examined to make sure that the carbohydrates and the fiber as source of gas and bloating is minimized or eliminated. Excessive use of medications that may be needed for other infections should be avoided.

Chronic diarrhea should be evaluated to rule out GI infection with C. diff bacteria or other bacteria or parasite.

 

Additional Information on C. Diff (Clostridium Difficile)  and probiotics.