Nutrition & Obesity Treatment

Optimal nutritional care for patients with morbid obesity - before and after bariatric surgery

In the Netherlands, each year about 12,000 people with morbid obesity undergo bariatric surgery with the goal to lose weight. Rijnstate Hospital, Vitalys and Wageningen University and Research are working together to achieve optimal nutritional care for these patients, before and after surgery.

Vitalys, part of Rijnstate Hospital, is one of the largest clinics for bariatric surgery in the Netherlands, and performs more than 1,250 procedures each year. The International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) acknowledged Vitalys as Centre of Excellence in bariatric surgery.

In bariatric surgery the size of the stomach is reduced and/or the small intestine is resected and re-routed to the small stomach pouch. Thus the amount of food that can be eaten is decreased and the absorption of nutrients is reduced. In this way, weight loss can be achieved. However, bariatric patients are therefore also at risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. 

This program develops new knowledge about nutrition before and after bariatric surgery to improve the nutritional status of these patients.

Projects and results

Nutrition and bariatric surgery

Laura Heusschen is working on a PhD project on nutrition and bariatric surgery. She is monitoring the risk of nutritional deficiencies, eg:

  • after new bariatric techniques
  • within high-risk groups such as pregnant women

This research project is supervised by Eric Hazebroek MD, PhD (Vitalys, Rijnstate) and professor Ellen Kampman (Wageningen University & Research)

Pregnancy after bariatric surgery

‘Postpone pregnancy for one year after bariatric surgery’ is the message of the research that won the poster price at the Dutch Nutrition congress in 2018.

Bariatric surgery and dietary intake

Another study concluded that a lower dietary intake after bariatric surgery is related to total body weight loss after surgery. This study was also presented in a poster at the Dutch Nutrition congress in 2018.

IFSO congress - 2018

Several research projects were presented at the yearly European IFSO congress 2018 on obesity and bariatric surgery.

Contact person

Laura Heusschen (PhD)

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