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Can Weight Loss Surgery Stop Working?

Written by: Emma Squillace

Many people lose a substantial weight after weight loss surgery like the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. Much of this weight loss happens in the first year after surgery. But you’ve probably noticed that some people seem to gain some weight after they’ve lost weight. As a potential bariatric surgery patient, this can seem scary. Is it likely that all your hard work will be undone after initial weight loss success?

While there are some people who do not lose a substantial amount of weight after surgery, or who regain most of the weight they lost, these situations are the exception. Most of the time, patients with bariatric surgery lose weight and maintain a significant weight loss. For people who do regain weight, there are options like revisional bariatric surgery. Let’s look at the situations where someone may be unhappy with their weight loss:

Weight loss plateau after bariatric surgery

A plateau is a very normal part of weight loss, even though it can be frustrating. A plateau happens when someone is losing weight, and then seems to stall at a certain number. This can be disappointing for people who have not reached their goal weight, and feel as though they are putting in the lifestyle changes that should result in continued weight loss.

Sometimes a plateau is your body’s way of telling you that you’ve reached a weight that you can reasonably maintain. If you and your doctor agree this weight is bringing you health benefits, then you may want to adjust your goal and not worry too much about losing additional weight.

If you plateau at a weight you are not satisfied with, here are some tips that may help:

  • Change up your diet. You may need to try different foods to kick-start more weight loss.
  • Try a new or more intense fitness routine.
  • Add more lean protein or more vegetables to your diet. You may be missing out on an important component like fiber.
  • Try a food diary for 2 weeks, logging every bite of food & sip of drink you take. You might find some hidden calories.
  • Consider a lower-calorie diet, and ask your doctor or nutrition support team. Someone who has lost 80 pounds will need fewer calories to maintain their weight, so the same diet you were on initially may be too many calories now.
  • Try to drink more water. Staying well-hydrated can keep your metabolism and body functioning well, and may curb cravings.

Minor regain after bariatric surgery

Sometimes when people have bariatric surgery, they lose a lot of weight during the first year, and then gain a little of it back. This is generally not something to be concerned about. After all, if you lose 90 pound and gain back 15, that is still a 75 pound reduction. This is significant weight loss, and in most cases will bring health and quality of life benefits. If you find yourself slowly regaining weight after weight loss, schedule an appointment with us. We can work with you to figure out if there is a medical or lifestyle reason you are gaining weight, and give you ideas for the next steps to take.

Major weight regain after bariatric surgery

Although it is rare, there are cases when a bariatric surgery patient loses a good amount of weight, and then regains almost all of it. In this case, it’s important to schedule an appointment with us so we can work together to understand the causes of the weight regain. Our team is here to support you on your entire journey, so please do not be embarrassed to get in touch with us if you do not feel like your weight loss has been a success. As with all medical treatments, there are times when the first treatment provided may not be the last treatment needed. Our expert team can work with you to figure out what we can do together to help you be successful. In some cases this involves lifestyle changes, and in others this involves medical treatments or re-operations.

Weight loss surgery is a safe and effective option for many people with obesity. While most weight loss surgery patients have successful and long term weight loss results, some need additional help to achieve their final results. At West Medical we offer procedures like the gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and non-surgical gastric balloon options. We also offer re-operation for people who have not found success with their initial surgery. Our team is happy to speak to you anytime at (855) 690-0565.

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