Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss surgery that involves removing a portion of the stomach to reduce its size. This limits the amount of food a person can eat, leading to weight loss. It’s a generally effective weight loss procedure that has helped many people achieve their goals. However, over time, the stomach may stretch, and patients may be able to consume more significant portions of food, leading to weight gain in the years following the procedure.
While experiencing weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery can be frustrating, you’re not alone! Understanding the reasons behind weight gain and taking steps to prevent it can help you maintain weight loss and improve your overall health and well-being.
What Causes Weight Gain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Although the surgery reduces the stomach size, it is not a magic solution for weight loss. Simply put, patients who do not follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly may not lose as much weight as hoped and may experience weight gain after the surgery. For example:
- Patients who do not follow a healthy diet may consume too many calories or not get enough nutrients, causing weight gain and other health problems
- Patients who do not exercise regularly may not burn enough calories to maintain their weight loss
Effects of Weight Gain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery can increase the risk of health complications, such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Joint pain
Gaining weight after surgery can also psychologically affect patients because the procedure is often seen as a last resort for those who have struggled with weight loss for years. If a patient gains weight after the surgery, it can lead to feelings of:
- Reduced confidence and self-esteem, which can impact their social and professional lives
As you can see, weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery can have severe health and psychological consequences. You should work closely with your healthcare team to manage your weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle after your procedure.
How to Avoid Weight Gain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Here are some practical ways to maintain a healthy weight and prevent weight gain:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Consume foods that are high in protein, fiber, and nutrients while avoiding those high in sugar, fat, and calories
- Eat three small meals and two snacks per day
- Avoid consuming liquids during meals
- Avoid processed foods and focus on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
- Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day, five days a week
- Incorporate strength training exercises to build lean muscle mass and boost your metabolism
Another option is behavioral therapy, which can help you maintain a healthy weight after gastric sleeve surgery by:
- Addressing underlying psychological factors contributing to overeating
- Helping you develop healthier eating habits and coping mechanisms to deal with stress and emotional triggers
- Teaching you to identify and address any negative thought patterns contributing to weight gain
Will I Need a Revision?
In some cases, revision surgery may be necessary to address weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery. This may involve converting the gastric sleeve to a gastric bypass or duodenal switch, which can help to restrict further the amount of food the patient can eat and limit nutrient absorption.
Obesity Control Center, the leading medical tourism destination in Tijuana, Mexico, can correct technical issues with a sleeve gastrectomy with a revision surgery or Sleeve Rescue™ featuring the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® that resizes the sleeve to a smaller size with and combined procedure that involves stapling (“re-sleeve”) and suturing (gastric plication).
The OCC-exclusive IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® is the result of years of experience and research in bariatric surgery. We have addressed the safety issue (staple line leaks) with The Double Buttress Over-Sewing Technique*. The durability of the weight loss procedure is further enhanced by reinforcing the staple line with this proprietary technique. A sleeve gastrectomy's most common undesirable effect is heartburn symptoms (reflux disease and hiatal hernia). We have effectively diminished the problem with particular attention placed on the GEF Triad (Gastro-Esophageal-Fundus Triad).
These are not just medical terms being thrown around. These are the critical components of an Improved Gastric Sleeve, with research and data to back them up.
Other Ways to Treat Weight Gain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Lifestyle changes can also be an effective way to address weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery. This may involve:
- Working with a registered dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan tailored to the patient's needs and goals
- Working with a personal trainer to promote weight loss and improve overall health
- Working with a therapist or support group to address any emotional or psychological factors contributing to their weight gain
- Taking weight loss medications, such as Orlistat or Phentermine
Avoid Weight Gain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery with Obesity Control Center
Weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery is a frustrating but common and manageable issue. By staying committed to a healthy lifestyle and seeking our support, you can maintain your weight loss and improve your overall well-being.
We are an innovative and industry-leading metabolic weight loss center of excellence fully accredited by Joint Commission International. We help people worldwide achieve their weight loss goals using lifestyle changes and the most modern and safe techniques in bariatric surgery. Because of our international UCSD collaboration, we can bring partnerships from international surgeons to our patients. Contact us today to learn more about losing weight and keeping it off with OCC!