In a study published in JAMA Surgery, the scientists had reported a high rate of anemia a decade after patients received Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The study advised that long-term follow-up with a bariatric specialist is imperative to reduce the risk of anemia.  

Lack of mineral and vitamin are known to have prospective adverse effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB).  

Dan Eisenberg, M.D., M.S., of the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Palo Alto, and Stanford University, Stanford, California, and associates studied the occurrence of anemia in patients, a decade after RYGB and assessed the impact of postoperative bariatric follow-up on anemia rates.

The study included 74 patients (58 men and 16 women; mean age, 51years) who received RYGB at a single Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The findings reported that mean rate of preoperative anemia was 20% (15 patients). One year after RYGB the rate was raised to 28% (21 patients), 31% at five years (23 patients) and 47% at ten years (35 patients). The anemia rate at ten years after RYGB was increased from 22% before surgery to 57% in the patients without bariatric specialist follow-up. The researchers did not find a significant increase in the anemia rate after a decade (19 percent vs.13 percent) among patients with bariatric specialist follow-up.      

Groups without bariatric specialist follow-up showed considerably more chances of anemia at ten years after adjusting for preoperative anemia when compared to groups with bariatric specialist follow-up. 

The total number of patients with bariatric specialist follow-up was too low to identify a significant difference in the 10-year anemia rates compared with preoperative rates, which was a drawback of the study.

The authors wrote that, the research suggests, follow-up with bariatric specialists above five years after surgery could reduce long-term anemia risk compared to follow-up with nonbariatric specialists. The results might reveal the bariatric expert's specific insights of the long-term risk for nutritional deficiency after RYGB and the significance of vitamin and mineral supplementation.