Revision Surgery for Weight Regain after Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery, and especially robotic surgery, has many weight loss benefits both short-term and long-term. However, there’s always the possibility of weight regain, especially years after the procedure. Weight regain is perfectly normal, if it follows a usual pattern. For example, many patients will regain 5 to 10% of their excess bodyweight after bottoming out a couple years after surgery. This is perfectly normal and results from the gastrointestinal system becoming used to its new shape, size and form.
However, if the patient gains a significant amount of weight or that weight gain is out of control, it may be a sign of something more serious.
The most common reasons for weight regain after weight loss surgery include:
- Poor or underdeveloped exercise and diet plans.
- Widening of the stoma or pouch, which allows more food into intestinal tract.
- Stretching of the stomach pouch. The more you eat in one sitting, the greater the chance of stretching the stomach. Over the long-term, this stretch may become permanent and additional food will be able to enter the digestive system.
- Consumption of high calorie beverages and food such as ice creams, milkshakes, chocolates, etc.
- Unconscious eating. Most people are not able to recall the amount nor the type of food they snack on if are performing other activities i.e. while watching TV, reading a book, talking to a friend or doing other distracting tasks. It’s very important to be mindful of both the amount and type of beverages and food you consume at all times.
If you are concerned about weight regain, the most important first step is to contact your surgeon. Then begin journaling, you must document everything you are eating, if you have not already. Noting your daily diet and exercise routine, will allow your dietitian and surgeon to evaluate whether it is a lifestyle modification that is needed to halt and reverse the weight regain.
If it is not a lifestyle issue, there may be various minimally invasive procedures that can help reverse the gain. In some cases, the primary procedure may have to be revised. Each of the major procedures can be revised. You can learn more about gastric band removal and revision here.
Ultimately, please remember that most cases of weight regain are a normal occurrence and you should not panic if you see this scale start to creep up. And know that, while available, revisional surgical procedures do come with unique and heightened risks when compared to a primary bariatric surgery.
You may always call us to learn more about what may be behind the weight regain and learn about your options to reverse the trend.