Can You Gain Weight Back after Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Jeremy Korman';

By Jeremy Korman

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 in Weight Loss

Gastric bypass surgery enables patients to lose weight more rapidly and reliably than diet and exercise alone.

In addition, it's been shown that symptoms of weight-related ailments, such as Type 2 diabetes often improve quickly after surgery.

Obviously, the benefits of successful gastric bypass surgery can be immense.

But what happens if the surgery is not successful? Does it fail often? What should you do if it does?

How Gastric Bypass Works

Gastric bypass surgery involves two steps: one "restrictive" step, where the doctor surgically shrinks the stomach and restricts its ability to store a lot of food, and one "malabsorptive" step, where the doctor reroutes the intestinal tract in such a way that the body absorbs fewer calories (and fewer nutrients) than before. These modifications are in place for the duration of the patient's life.

Sometimes the restrictive step can gradually lose effectiveness if a patient’s stomach stretches back out over time. The small pouch created by the surgeon can gradually get bigger, enabling the patient to eat more and possibly erasing the weight loss and health gains that the patient has experienced. 

Typically, this can be caused by a lack of attention to proper diet and portion size. In any event, if the patient gains the weight back, there are steps to take to halt this weight gain and get back on the path of weight loss.

The Remedy

If you find yourself regaining weight after weight loss surgery, the first thing to do is make an appointment with your weight loss surgeon and clinical team. Together, you can examine various factors, starting with your nutritional program.

You must continue to pay attention to your diet over the long term; if you find that you have gotten more permissive with high-calorie food or portion sizes, that is the likely first thing to correct.

In some cases, revision surgery may be recommended. There are procedures you can undergo to re-shrink the stomach. One common revision surgery is the ROSE procedure, which can shrink the stomach without incisions.

Some gastric bypass patients opt to have a lap band placed on their stomachs to create that small pouch. Dr. Korman can explain these procedures if you turn out to be a good candidate, or you can find information elsewhere on this website.

Find Out More

If you have questions about weight gain after gastric bypass or about any other issues related to obesity or weight loss surgery, please contact us at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital. We're here to help, and we would love the chance to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have as you seek answers to the problem of obesity.