Background

Among bariatric surgery patients, adherence to micronutrient supplementation regimens can be challenging. Pill burden is one of the inconveniences of traditional oral supplementation thus inspiring alternative approaches including transdermal delivery of micronutrients via vitamin patches. While there are marketing campaigns recommending this route; currently, there is not any high quality data demonstrating the efficacy of vitamin patch delivery of micronutrients. We hypothesized that despite limited data, bariatric surgery patients are utilizing vitamin patches as their main source of micronutrient supplementation because of the ease of use demonstrated in marketing campaigns.

Methods

Post-operative bariatric surgery patients living in the USA were invited to participate in an anonymous survey describing individual vitamin use. The survey was posted in online social media bariatric support groups.

Results

Of the 480 patients included in this study, 17 (3.5%) stated that they utilized vitamin patches as part of their regimen. Among those patients, 58.9% said they would recommend using vitamin patches. 162 (33.8%) respondents said that they had heard of vitamin patches prior to the survey. Additionally, 135 (29.2%) of patients said they might and 239 (51.6%) said they would definitely be interested in using patch vitamins.

Conclusions

This survey indicates low utilization rates for vitamin patches amongst bariatric surgery patients. However, this survey also indicates that patients are interested in using these patches. Further research is necessary to understand the efficacy of transdermal vitamins, particularly in bariatric patients who may have altered pharmacokinetics and/or transdermal absorption barriers.