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Weight Regain after Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass performed by an experienced surgeon will often result in lifetime restriction and malabsorption leading to sustained weight loss over the long-term. There is the possibility, however, that after several years patients may begin to regain excess weight.  There are several possible reasons for this weight gain, which we will explore below.

It is possible and not uncommon that patients will regain 5 to 10% of their excess body weight after a few years of consistent weight loss and plateauing. This occurs in virtually every patient and is usually the result of the stomach adapting to dietary and exercise fluctuations.

However, on occasion, we give that weight gain a closer look. This is especially true when the patient is gaining and losing a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. A closer look at various contributing factors can often identify a problem in its infancy before it causes larger issues.

  • First and most importantly, we will be looking at the patient’s lifestyle and specifically their diet and exercise regimen. If the patient’s diet and exercise plan is if no longer working to their advantage, a change in routine maybe what’s needed to ensure limited weight regain or additional weight loss. Our bodies are very adaptable and as such repetitive exercise often becomes less effective over time.
  • In some cases, the patient will not have been able to maintain their post bariatric diet and will be consuming significantly more food than is prescribed. It is very possible that over time, they will have stretched size of their stomach pouch. The stomach is a very flexible and stretchable organ. While one over-indulgence may not stretch the pouch permanently, a series of poor dietary choices over an extended period of time certainly can.

For the lifestyle and/or elective issues above, the Weight Loss Center Arkansas offers a physician supervised non-surgical weight loss program to assist pre- and post-op patients reach their goals. This program is useful for both those who have and have not undergone a bariatric procedure.

If lifestyle modification is not the issue we then look at the possibility that the stoma – the opening between the stomach and small intestine – may have enlarged, allowing food to enter the stomach more quickly. When this happens, the restrictive portion of the gastric bypass procedure can fail. If caught soon enough, there are several minimally invasive procedures that can be employed to rebuild the restriction the patient needs.

In certain cases, a revision procedure may be necessary. The most common revisions to a gastric bypass are adding a gastric band to the top of the stomach pouch, called band over bypass, pouch revision and lengthening the roux limb for added malabsorption . Please contact our office to learn more about the reasons for weight gain and possible treatments.