How to Prevent Regaining Weight After Weight Loss Surgery

Most weight loss surgery patients experience great results, losing up to 80% of their extra weight. The weight loss process occurs over a period of time, but ultimately most people have reached their goal within a few years. It’s usually after five or six years that some patients may see an increase in weight, including problems with digestion and eating. Unfortunately a handful of patients find that weight gain occurs even after having weight loss surgery.

What Causes Weight Gain After Surgery?

One factor is the expansion of the reconstructed pouch in a gastric bypass patient. Over time, and with age, a reconstructed stomach pouch can stretch, allowing more food and calories to enter the body. The part of the intestine responsible for caloric absorption may also learn how to compensate for the missing piece of intestine, absorbing more calories than in the beginning stages.

Patients who experience an extreme amount of weight loss in the first two years may notice a slight bounce in weight once the body adjusts to the surgery. After losing over 100 pounds, patients may notice a slow creep of 10 to 15 pounds over the next year. This is caused by the body readjusting to the new stomach and the slight expansion of the pouch.

For people who undergo lapband surgery, weight loss isn’t as quick as gastric bypass. For this reason, people may experience a slower weight gain after the first five years than gastric bypass patients. However, weight gain is possible with people who eat foods high in fat and sugars or who mostly partake of a liquid diet which may be high in fat, sugars, and sodium.

Doctors notice that one of the main reasons patients gain weight after surgery is because of psychological and emotional feelings towards food. While the surgery can help control how much a person can eat, it doesn’t change how a person feels about food. If food is still a source of comfort, patients will continue with the bad habits that caused them to need weight loss surgery in the first place.

How to Prevent Weight Gain After Surgery

Keeping in touch with the doctor and letting them know of any new pains or feelings is one way to make sure there are no problems that can cause weight gain. A pouch may need to be fixed or a lapband tightened to continue with weight loss success. It’s also important to receive counseling for any emotional eating disorders before and after weight loss surgery to insure that bad habits don’t return. By taking a proactive stance on weight loss, surgery patients can reduce the risk of weight gain and improve their health.

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