After undergoing bariatric surgery, it is not unusual for patients to relapse and put on weight. According to statistics, one in five patients who have weight loss surgery gain the weight back within the first few years. Many people have experienced the discouraging yo-yo ups and downs of dieting, losing weight, gaining it back, and then dieting again. One would assume that stopping the yo-yo game altogether would be as simple as having weight loss surgery to reduce the size of the stomach, but unfortunately, it is a little more complicated than that.
After undergoing bariatric surgery, weight gain can result from a variety of circumstances, and not all of them are within the patient’s control. We need to look at how bariatric surgery works to promote weight loss to understand why it occasionally fails. Today, we are going to discuss weight gain after undergoing bariatric surgery, how it can be addressed through a bariatric revision procedure, and the reasons why someone would have bariatric revision surgery.
What Does The Term Bariatric Surgery Mean?
The term “bariatric surgery” refers to a surgical procedure that temporarily or permanently changes the digestive system. These changes may include reducing the stomach capacity and re-routing the intestines to help individuals lose weight by limiting the amount of food that can be consumed at one time and preventing some of the calories ingested from being absorbed by the body. Bariatric surgery also helps by lowering hunger signals caused by the hormone ghrelin and the smaller stomach size allows the patient to feel fuller for longer. A candidate for bariatric surgery would have a BMI (body mass index) of 40+ or 35+ and suffer from one or more weight-related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes.
Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery
Typically, the first few months following bariatric surgery are when patients experience the most significant weight loss. A large part of this can be related to the patient’s new smaller stomach size, their bodies needing time to recover from surgery, and the extremely restricted diet they must adhere to.
Statistics suggest that only half of the individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery to lose weight are able to retain their outcomes, with the other half facing weight gain within two to five years. A bariatric revision may be an effective solution when individuals start to gain weight after surgery or if their weight loss plateaus despite their best efforts.
Why Bariatric Revision Surgery Is Needed
There are a number of reasons why people don’t succeed in losing weight or gain it back following bariatric surgery. Patients may gain weight for a variety of reasons, some of which are out of their control.
When we imagine someone losing a significant amount of weight just to gain it all back, we automatically assume that they did something wrong or lacked willpower. Sometimes, this is accurate and the reason for their weight gain or weight reduction plateau is that they are not adhering to their prescribed low-calorie diet and exercise routine. This, however, is not always the case.
Let’s examine some circumstances that may lead to weight gain after surgery and some common reasons why someone would have bariatric revision surgery.
Your Body Can Be Undermining Your Attempts To Lose Weight
One extraordinary quality of the human body is its capacity to keep us alive by controlling our energy levels in relation to our energy sources. When we eat, we are providing our bodies with the nourishment it requires at that time and any surplus is retained for use at a later time (as fat). Our bodies can adapt and make changes to ensure our survival. Here are six common factors that can make a bariatric revision necessary.
- 1. Regulation Of Metabolism Speed
- Even when doing everything correctly, people who have undergone weight reduction surgery may still reach weight plateaus or regain much of the weight they lost.
Our metabolism will slow to a crawl if we dramatically cut our calorie intake in order to store energy for when it thinks we might need it (it still believes we might have to hunt for our food in the wild). Our metabolism is trying to help us but it is actually getting in the way of our attempts to lose weight since it is unaware that we can easily drive to the supermarket and go grocery shopping.
- 2. Anatomical Changes
- The body’s ability to spontaneously undergo structural changes that affect some of the outcomes of earlier bariatric surgery is another thing that can cause a patient to begin to regain weight. The gastrojejunal stoma, which is the connection point between the stomach and the small intestine, quite frequently becomes enlarged over time. As a result, the patient’s stomach empties faster, they do not stay satisfied as long, and they get hungry more often.
- 3. The Bariatric Surgery Technique Used Initially Was Not Ideal
- Every bariatric surgery will not be successful in treating every patient. Sometimes, the initial surgery or operation performed on the patient wasn’t the right one for them.
The operation might not have been a suitable fit for the patient’s lifestyle, or sometimes a bariatric procedure can have chronic adverse effects that the patient cannot tolerate. Persistent acid reflux is an example of an adverse effect that may lead a patient to want relief. They would need bariatric revision surgery.
The patient would require a new evaluation to ascertain which procedure or modifications are required for them to lose weight effectively without experiencing any negative side effects.
- 4. Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices
- Let’s just get real for a minute. One of the most common reasons that patients gain weight after bariatric surgery is because of their own unhealthy lifestyle choices. Life happens and occasionally patients elect to thwart their weight loss efforts by overeating, skipping workouts, etc. They may also choose to eat foods they shouldn’t or eat when they shouldn’t (between meals).
They may unintentionally undermine their weight loss efforts by inadvertently overeating at each meal, which causes their stomach to gradually expand. They might not even be aware of this slight stretching out of their stomach, but it stimulates them to eat larger portions at meals, which leads to weight gain.
- 5. Inability To Adequately Handle Stress
- When we are under stress, our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which tells our bodies to hold onto extra fat. This is another instance of our body trying to safeguard us while providing us with assistance we could do without! Even the most successful attempts to lose weight might be hampered by stress.
The fact that stress management is not taught as a course in high school is a disservice to us all. Nobody can avoid stress in life, so it is unavoidable. All of us would benefit from knowing the negative impacts of stress and learning coping mechanisms, especially during adolescence!
- 6. Trying To Do It On Their Own
- Obesity has a wide range of diverse and frequently complex causes. Obesity researchers have identified a number of factors as underlying drivers of the disease, including metabolism, heredity, stress, hormone issues, menopause, psychological concerns, medications, and neurological issues.
It makes sense that those who have had bariatric surgery won’t be able to successfully lose weight and keep it off by themselves or in the absence of a support structure because the majority of individuals who undergo the surgery fail to lose or maintain a healthy weight on their own.
After undergoing any type of bariatric surgery, it is vital to take part in a variety of support groups. The patient should ask friends, family members, and others who have experienced the same treatment for moral support and encouragement. Bariatric surgeons always want to see their patients succeed in losing weight so they can become healthier. Many surgeons have continuous support requirements for their patients before they undergo bariatric surgery. Besides the professionals at your doctor’s office, you may inquire with your doctor for advice on nearby groups or organizations that can provide support and encouragement to you in your weight loss efforts.
What Should You Do When You Think A Revision of Bariatric Surgery Is Needed?
The best thing to do if you are gaining weight after having bariatric surgery is to contact a doctor that is trained in obesity management, like Dr. Okeefe Simmons, and set up a consultation. The sooner the situation is addressed, the faster the doctor can get the patient’s weight-loss journey back on track.
During a consultation, the doctor can discuss the options available to address your unique set of circumstances and an individualized plan for revision of your original bariatric surgery can be developed.
A bariatric surgery revision is a technique carried out to correct or modify a prior surgery or procedure for weight loss in order to facilitate future weight loss. Sometimes, a simple non-surgical procedure can be done to tighten a stretched-out stomach or stoma.
Or it may entail switching from one type of bariatric surgery to another. If a bariatric revision can be carried out endoscopically, the procedure carries fewer risks and the recovery is much quicker.
What Are The Qualifications For Bariatric Revision Surgery?
It is necessary to have a consultation with a skilled obesity-trained specialist to ascertain whether you are a candidate for a revision of a prior bariatric procedure. On a case-by-case basis, this expert will decide what revision method to utilize and will take the following into account:
- The weight-loss procedure that is being improved or changed;
- If the patient requested a revision operation because of complications with the initial procedure;
- The patient’s circumstances and health condition.
They will also research to determine or find other issues or underlying causes for inadequate weight loss or weight gain. Before obtaining the go-ahead for a revision of bariatric surgery, patients sometimes need to go through psychological and nutritional evaluations.
Who Can Benefit From A Bariatric Surgery Revision?
After having bariatric surgery, patients may experience weight gain or weight plateaus for a variety of reasons. You might be a candidate for a bariatric revision if you’ve had bariatric weight-loss surgery in the past and have gained weight despite trying to lose it through diet and exercise.
A bariatric revision procedure would help resolve issues that have developed since the initial surgery and are preventing you from losing additional weight. Your weight loss objectives and the kind of surgery you had previously will determine which revision alternatives are appropriate for you.
You might be a candidate for an endoscopic procedure that can fix these issues without requiring surgery and enable you to lose more weight. The medical staff at Simmons MD Advanced Weight Loss Solutions is here to help you lose weight and get back on track. Contact us today!