Understanding Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

Woman weighing herself on scaleMany bariatric patients worry over the possibility of weight gain after bariatric surgery. Here in Tijuana, Mexico, Tijuana Bariatrics can ease your fears. Dr. Fernando Garcia, Dr. David Vazquez, and the team of bariatric professionals that works alongside them can coordinate your care before and after your procedure to minimize complications and maximize your results. Contact us today to learn more.

Is Weight Gain Normal?

Patients typically experience dramatic weight loss after bariatric surgery, often losing between 75 to 85 percent of their excess weight. However, your body is always trying to absorb as much energy as possible from the food you eat. As you adjust to your new lifestyle, your body will learn how to maximize energy absorption, as well. This can lead to some weight regain overtime.

Oftentimes, patients find it is easier to adjust to life after bariatric surgery if they begin to change their habits before the procedure. 

Consequently, some weight gain following bariatric surgery is expected. How much weight gain a patient should expect depends on whether their procedure was restrictive or malabsorptive.

Restrictive surgeries, such as LAP-BAND® or gastric sleeve surgery, reduce your stomach capacity to help you feel fuller faster and for longer amounts of time. If you undergo a restrictive surgery, regaining 8 to 10 percent of your prior weight is normal. Malabsorptive procedures, like gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery, restrict your ability to absorb calories and typically result in even more dramatic weight loss than procedures that are only restrictive. These patients typically experience less weight regain in the long-term.

Prevention and Non-surgical Solutions

While some weight gain is normal, you can work to prevent substantial gain long before your procedure:

  • Seek treatment for any eating disorders: If you have been diagnosed with binge-eating disorder or any other condition that may be directly or indirectly contributing to weight gain, seek treatment first. Patients struggling with these types of disorders often lose less weight after surgery than those who are not.
  • Address alcohol or drug abuse problems: Both alcoholism and drug addiction are associated with an increased risk of post-procedural weight gain and surgical complications.
  • Lose as much weight as possible: In general, the lower a patient’s BMI (body mass index) before surgery, the more likely it is that they will be able to keep excess weight off in the future.

Oftentimes, patients find it is easier to adjust to life after bariatric surgery if they begin to change their habits before the procedure. Sticking to a diet or exercise routine is less challenging if you have already been following one for some time. 

If you still struggle with weight gain, external sources of support can have a huge impact. Seeking the help of a nutritional counselor who can help monitor and modify your diet can improve your focus. Joining a weight loss surgery support group can help enormously, as well. Even if they cannot offer advice, speaking to people who are going through (or have overcome) the same experience can be a relief.

Surgical Solutions

While your doctors will recommend non-surgical treatments whenever possible, sometimes these solutions are not enough. In this case, Dr. Garcia and Dr.Vazquez offer revision bariatric surgery to refine your results. Although your doctor may recommend performing the same procedure over again, some patients undergo a different surgery. For example, if you received a LAP-BAND® during your first procedure, a gastric bypass surgery may offer longer-lasting results the second time around.

Contact the Practice Today

Tijuana Bariatrics coordinates care with a skilled and compassionate medical team. If you are concerned about weight gain after your bariatric procedure, reach out today to learn how the Tijuana Bariatrics team can help.