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Battling Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

Many patients struggle with weight gain after bariatric surgery. The doctors and counselors working through the Tijuana Bariatric Center can advise patients who are frustrated with unexpected weight gain after bariatric surgery at a Tijuana, Mexico, hospital. Whether you need professional advice or are considering revisional surgery, the Tijuana Bariatric team can help get you back on track. And by separating fact from myths and misconceptions, the team can also help you maintain a positive outlook and healthy habits.

Why Am I Gaining Weight Back?

Bariatric surgery is known for producing dramatic weight loss: patients often report losing up to 60 to 75 percent of their original weight. However, despite these staggering statistics, just as many patients notice their weight plateau or even begin to creep up again months or years after their procedure.

Common Causes

There are several reasons that can lead to weight gain. Sometimes, the cause is as simple as a patient slipping in their dieting or exercise routine. Other times, it may signal post-surgical complications. But weight gain is often just the result of normal physiology. The human body is designed to store energy reserves in case of periods of starvation. Once your body adjusts to its new digestive system, it will begin to maximize energy absorption. As a result, patients often start to gain weight back.

Patients may regain as much as eight to ten percent of their original weight.

Factors That Affect How Much Weight You Gain

The amount of weight gain a patient will experience depends largely on the type of bariatric surgery performed. With restrictive surgeries, such as LAP-BAND® or gastric sleeve surgery, which reduce intake by reducing stomach capacity, patients may regain as much as eight to ten percent of their original weight. In addition to restricting the size of the stomach, malabsorptive surgeries like gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery change how your system digests food. As a result, patients undergoing these types of procedures often regain less weight.  

Vegetables, fruit, and meat

A well-balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Preventing Weight Gain

Patients can take a number of measures to limit weight regain even before surgery. One of the most important steps you can take is changing your food and exercise habits. By starting early, you can ease the stress of change on your body and begin to lose weight ahead of time. The lower a patient’s BMI (body mass index) at the time they undergo surgery, the less weight they will need to keep off afterward.

If you struggle with addiction or an eating disorder, it is vital that you pursue treatment before bariatric surgery.

Eating disorders, alcoholism, and drug addiction can also complicate your results. All three conditions can interfere with your metabolism, affecting not only your weight loss but your overall health, as well. If you struggle with addiction, it is vital that you pursue treatment before bariatric surgery. Many people fall back into old habits to cope with stress after bariatric surgery, and recovery is stressful enough without other complications.

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Working with a nutrition counselor can help you create and maintain a personalized diet.

About Nutrition Services

Getting Back on Track

It is important to understand that even these precautions cannot always prevent weight regain.

Non-Surgical Methods

If you have noticed weight gain despite your best efforts, several methods can help you get back on track:

  • Food journal: Keeping a written record of how much you eat each day can give you a more concrete sense of your diet. It also makes it much easier to identify potential problems.
  • Nutritional counseling: While the nutritionist working alongside the Tijuana Bariatric Center will follow up with you in the weeks after your surgery, many patients find it helpful to meet with a nutritional counselor on a more regular basis. Like a food journal, routine discussions with a professional can help solidify your diet and highlight problem areas.
  • Support group: Joining a weight loss surgery support group can provide invaluable resources. Working with this type of group, patients can receive advice from others who are sharing the same experiences. And as former patients themselves, members of these groups can often offer a perspective that professionals alone may not be able to provide.

Revisional Surgery

Unfortunately, the root of the problem cannot always be dealt with through nonsurgical means. In some cases, revisional bariatric surgery may be necessary.

However, these routes are only recommended as a last resort. For example, your surgeon may perform another procedure if a LAP-BAND® has slipped or if the stomach has stretched out after a gastric sleeve procedure.

Illustrated comparison of LAP-Band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass surgeries

Undergoing revisional surgery can help correct the consequences of weight gain.

Reach Out Today

Weight regain after surgery does not have to be inevitable. Contact the doctors working through the Tijuana Bariatric Center to learn more about how you can minimize or prevent frustrating post-bariatric weight gain. 

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