What if I Gain the Weight Back?
If you have experienced weight gain after bariatric surgery, it is possible that factors such as food addiction, lack of a support system, or alcohol or drug abuse have led to these results. Although our doctors can perform revision surgery to help treat your weight gain, changes in your diet and support system can ultimately be the greatest cure. At LIMARP in Tijuana, Mexico, we can provide nutritional counseling and resources for support groups anytime, before or after your surgery.*
Why Do Some Patients Gain Weight after Bariatric Surgery?
Statistically, about half of all patients gain weight within two years after bariatric surgery. Even so, most individuals still keep approximately 60 percent of their excess weight off after the five-year mark.* The most common factors affecting weight gain after bariatric surgery include:
- Your pre-surgery weight: The more weight you lose prior to surgery, the more weight you are likely to lose following the procedure. Not only will shedding pounds before surgery help you develop healthy lifestyle habits, but it will also lower your BMI (body mass index) and minimize potential complications.
- Lack of a support system: Emotional support is essential before, during, and after bariatric surgery. Patients who lack this type of encouragement are more likely to gain weight following their procedure. Our team at LIMARP can help you locate a support group in your area.
- Psychological state: Decreased feelings of well-being or increased urges to overeat or eat poorly can lead to weight gain after bariatric surgery. Additionally, food addiction is a significant reason for post-operative weight gain.
- Alcohol or drug abuse: Individuals who abuse substances are far more likely to gain weight after bariatric surgery. Additionally, weight loss surgery is correlated with alcoholism in some patients. Addiction transfer is also a concern, as some individuals may simply replace one addictive behavior for another.
Modifications ranging from support groups to additional treatment can help minimize weight gain after bariatric surgery.
How to Prevent or Reverse Weight Gain
A small amount of weight gain is likely once you hit your lowest post-surgical weight. There are a few recommendations to help you maintain your progress after surgery:
- Join a weight loss support group: Patients who actively participate in a weight loss support group have a BMI that is approximately 10 percent lower than those who do not. To help our patients achieve their goals, LIMARP provides nutritional counseling and resources for support groups.*
- Foster healthy habits before surgery: You will be placed on a diet prior to bariatric surgery. This will help prepare you for your new lifestyle and reduce your BMI. Any binge-eating habits should be addressed proactively. Those who seek treatment prior to surgery are less likely to gain weight afterward.*
- Lose weight before bariatric surgery: Losing a substantial amount of weight before surgery can have a tremendous positive impact on your results. Statistically, the more weight lost prior to surgery, the more success you will enjoy.*
Revision Surgery Options
Despite following all of these recommendations, weight gain may still occur in some patients. If diet and exercise fail to produce the desired results, revision surgery is an option. Two common methods include:
- Reducing the stoma size: The area between the pouch and small intestines is called the stoma. In some patients, the stoma may become larger after surgery. If this occurs, tightening the connection can help remedy the problem.
- Tightening the stomach pouch: Over time, the stomach pouch may stretch out. If this should happen, your surgeon can administer an endoscopic injection to shrink the stomach.
If you have experienced weight gain after bariatric surgery, your doctor can perform a comprehensive assessment to determine if revision surgery or another type of bariatric surgery is right for you.
Contact LIMARP for More Information
If you are concerned about weight gain after bariatric surgery, reach out to a team member for more information. Contact us online or call our office at (619) 270-8823.