Weight Regain and Care after Weight Loss Surgery
(Post-Bariatric Care)

One of the greatest fears we face when seeking weight-loss surgery is the fear of weight regain. This is understandable considering that virtually everyone that has undergone weight-loss surgery has at some point been a “Yo-Yo Dieter” during their weight-loss journey.

It is not uncommon to hear stories of losing 10 pounds, 20 pounds, sometimes even 50-100 pounds with dieting attempts, only to see it return over time.

The good news is that with weight-loss surgery, the weight loss seen post-operatively can be maintained throughout a long period of time. However, it is important that we keep in mind that obesity is a chronic disease that is not cured by surgery. Surgery provides a powerful tool for significant weight loss, but without proper care “the tool” can lose its effectiveness, leading to weight regain.

Revision Care to address Weight Regain

Weight gain after surgery can be caused by many factors and most can be addressed and get your weight loss journey back on track. The more expediently the issues are addressed and corrected, the sooner weight gain can be halted and weight loss can resume. What causes patients to gain weight after surgery?

What are some possible Reasons for Weight Regain?

Patient Non-Compliance

Some patients find themselves gaining weight after surgery because they have slipped back into their old, unhealthy habits.

After having weight loss surgery a patient must make life-long lifestyle changes to reach a healthy BMI level and maintain their weight loss.

Eating unhealthy food, or too much food at one time, or choosing not to follow their exercise plan are all conscious choices that can promote weight regain.

Also, patients must practice portion control because if they overeat on a consistent basis they can stretch out the small stomach pouch created during their bariatric surgery. Once this happens they continue to overeat and experience weight regain. This stomach stretching scenario can sneak up on an individual even though they are not making a conscious choice to stray from their weight loss program.

Anatomical Changes

Sometimes, anatomical alterations can occur that circumvent the restrictive changes that were made during the bariatric surgery. This allows the patient to overeat or no longer provides the feeling of satiety that helps patients control how much they are eating. One of the most common changes that can occur is the expansion of the connection between the stomach and the small intestine (stoma).

Failure of Medical Device or Procedure

Some other reasons that may occur are unexpected issues that arise in relation to a medical device or procedure. This may include the deflation of a gastric balloon, an issue with an adjustable lap band, or complications from surgery.

Stress, Anxiety, or Depression

We all know, life happens and when it does, it is accompanied by excess stress. Stress prompts our bodies to manufacture a hormone called cortisol which is the same one that is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct. Cortisol grabs ahold of fat and won’t let it go no matter what we do. Stress also causes many people to slip into bad habits because they are comfortable. The combination of cortisol and the craving for comfort food can cause a patient to regain weight after bariatric surgery.

Medical Conditions

In some cases, weight gain after surgery can happen because of an undiagnosed medical condition such as a thyroid issue, or a prescription medication that they are taking.

The advantage of working with the weight loss experts at IBI Healthcare is that they can identify these issues and implement a solution to ensure they do not inhibit future weight loss.

What can be done to Stop Weight Regain after Surgery?

If you are experiencing weight gain after having bariatric surgery or a non-surgical weight loss procedure, set up a consultation with IBI Healthcare Institute today. Our team of professionals has the expertise in obesity treatment necessary to help identify what is hindering your weight loss efforts and how to overcome these obstacles.

Our Advanced Weight Loss Center offers several options that will address weight regain at its root. Visit our Gastric Sleeve and Bypass Revision (GSRe and TORe) page for more information.

Education, Support, and Accountability

Some key elements that can help prevent weight gain after surgery are education, ongoing support, and accountability. We believe patients should understand the importance of nutrition and how to use their weight loss procedure to help them reach their goals. Nutritional and dietary counseling, behavioral health guidance, exercise coaching, and a comprehensive support system will help patients make long-term lifestyle changes that will promote maintaining a healthy weight.

Sometimes, we can get in our own way and this is true when we set our minds on a long-term goal. Losing weight and maintaining that weight loss is challenging and will require determination and making healthy choices for a lifetime.

Sometimes this means asking yourself hard questions and answering them honestly. Being accountable to yourself is the best type of support you can receive.

If you are beginning to gain weight, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • How has your energy level been?
  • Are you having heartburn or reflux?
  • How many times a day do you eat?
  • How much can you eat in one sitting?
  • Have you started any new medicines?
  • How many times a day do you get hungry?
  • Why do you think you are regaining weight?
  • Do you ever feel full and if so, how long does it last?
  • Are there any new or ongoing stress points in your life?

Contact Expert Surgeons at IBI Healthcare Institute and set up a consultation. During your consultation, the surgeon will discuss the weight regain issues, and identify potential underlying issues, and together you can come up with a plan to help get you back on track.

If you would like to learn more about the nuances of regaining weight after bariatric surgery, check out these other resources:

Bariatric Surgery Guide

Treating Weight Regain after Surgery

Weight Gain after Bariatric Surgery