Will the Stomach Stretch after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

May 19, 2017 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Gastric Sleeve Bariatric Surgery

A gastric sleeveLosing weight can be a challenge, especially for those who struggle with obesity. Drs. Fernando Garcia and David Vazquez help those who are significantly overweight achieve their weight loss goals by decreasing the size of the stomach through gastric sleeve surgery. Patients often have many questions about gastric sleeve surgery. One of the most common questions patients have, and one we will discuss today, is, will the stomach stretch after gastric sleeve surgery?. For answers to your specific questions, contact Tijuana, Mexico bariatric surgeons Fernando Garcia and David Vazquez.

The Stomach and Stretching

The anatomy of the stomach allows it to stretch and expand, helping to accommodate food intake. This expansion also signals the brain when the stomach is full and enough food has been eaten. As food is digested, the stomach contracts to help push the digested food into the intestines where food wastes are eliminated from the body.

Although some degree of stretching and expanding is expected when eating, regular overstretching of the stomach can cause the stomach to grow, which can cause the stomach to require more food in order to trigger the fullness signal. Gastric sleeve surgery physically reduces the size of the stomach, and helps reset the fullness signal so patients feel full after eating smaller amounts of food.

Can the Stomach Stretch after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Yes, the stomach can be stretched after gastric sleeve surgery, which is why it is important to follow post-surgical dietary guidelines. Repeatedly eating large meals, or returning to pre-surgery eating habits, can cause the stomach to stretch. This leads to the need for more food to feel full, which in turn can lead to weight gain.

Preventing Stomach Stretching after Gastric Sleeve Surgery

After gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to stick to a healthy diet and avoid overeating to prevent stretching of the stomach. Some ways to prevent stretching of the stomach after gastric sleeve surgery include:

  • Don't eat large meals: Although one large meal won't cause the stomach to remain stretched, it is a slippery slope. Avoid large meals and overeating to reduce the risk of stretching the stomach.
  • Don't drink while eating: Drinking fluids with your meal can add volume to the stomach. Instead, drink fluids an hour before meals or save them for an hour after you eat.
  • Eat small healthy snacks between meals: One way to help avoid overeating during meals is to curb your hunger with small, healthy snacks between meals.
  • Don't give up: Learning new eating habits is a process and it can be difficult to break old eating habits. If you happen to overeat at one or two meals, don't beat yourself up but do recommit to a healthy post-gastric sleeve diet and get back on track.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information about gastric sleeve surgery, or to find out if this treatment is right for you, please schedule a consultation with our team at Tijuana Bariatrics.