Bariatric surgery is intended to help you achieve your weight loss goals permanently. But studies show that some people regain weight, typically about 2-10 years after the original surgery.
An estimated 50% of those who undergo surgery gain just about 5% of the lost weight. But what happens if you gain that (or more)?
The good news is that there are some options that can help you address post-op weight gain. Gastroenterologist Eric Ibegbu, MD, and our team at Atlantic Medical Group are passionate about helping you keep the weight off.
That’s why we offer bariatric revisions for people who see weight gain after a bariatric surgery. Here’s what you need to know about weight gain after bariatric surgery and potential solutions.
Know the facts: What causes weight gain after bariatric surgery?
If you notice a gradual weight gain — or even just stalled weight loss — you might wonder what has changed. It could be a dilation of the outlet created during your original procedure.
The outlet, also called gastrojejunal anastomosis, was essential to create feelings of satiety and fullness. But the dilation (or widening) of that hole affects your ability to feel full, which then contributes to weight gain.
Other causes of weight gain include:
- Nutritional habits
- Self-esteem issues (which can lead to stress eating)
- A fistula (i.e., an abnormal opening)
- A sleeve or pouch that stretched
The good news is that there are solutions for post-op weight gain. As soon as you start to see a shift in weight, reach out to us so that you can explore solutions before the weight gain spirals.
Explore the solutions for post-op weight gain
If your weight gain is the result of a dilation of the outlet, Dr. Ibegbu may suggest a bariatric revision. Bariatric revision, officially known as a transoral gastric outlet reduction, is a procedure designed to address the widening of the outlet.
With a few sutures, the hole returns to its original post-op size. When the outlet size is revised, you feel more sated while eating.
A bariatric revision is a nonsurgical procedure that relies on an endoscope to deliver a few sutures to the necessary places. Because it’s nonsurgical, there are no incisions, it’s less invasive, and it’s a much quicker procedure. And you benefit from the same rate of weight loss as from your original procedure.
Lifestyle solutions for weight gain
Weight gain can also be the result of poor nutritional habits, including constant snacking. Snacking throughout the day can limit your ability to feel full, and the added calories from snacking can lead to weight gain.
If lifestyle factors are contributing to weight gain, solutions include:
- Meeting with bariatric surgery support groups
- Speaking with a nutritionist
- Recommitting yourself to your nutrition plan
- Sticking with your exercise routine
Weight gain could also be a combination of factors, such as poor dietary choices and the stretching of the pouch. For this reason, seek support as soon as you notice a change on the scale.
Why you should address weight gain
Losing weight (and keeping it off) helps reduce your risk of developing conditions associated with obesity. Re-gaining weight can undo your hard work and increase your risk of developing heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.
Addressing weight gain as soon as you notice it is easier on your body than waiting for weeks or months. Whether you need to readdress your diet or undergo a bariatric revision, we can help you get back on track.
To learn more about potential solutions including a bariatric revision, call our Kinston or Jacksonville, North Carolina, clinic today.