Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Gaining Weight After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Can You Have Another Surgery? 

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
May 25, 2022
Gaining Weight After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Can You Have Another Surgery? 

It’s not uncommon for gastric bypass surgery patients to experience weight regain after their operation. So, is it possible to have another surgery? The short answer is yes. Sometimes a second gastric bypass surgery is medically warranted. However, a second surgery carries an increased risk of complications. These complications can be serious, including infection, bleeding, and gastrointestinal tract leaks. Because of risks associated with repeat gastric bypass surgeries, it is typically only performed when certain physical changes in the body occur post-op. These changes can render the initial procedure ineffective. Another reason that a second surgery might be an option is if the original procedure type wasn’t the best fit for the patient. In this case, a revisional surgery can be performed that will correct this for more effective results. 

About Gastric Bypass Surgeries 

Gastric bypass surgeries are different from other surgeries because they carry a significant emotional aspect that can affect the outcome. Weight loss surgery can be life-changing, but it is a lengthy process. It requires a strong support system and a commitment to long-term healthy lifestyle habits to be successful. 

When patients experience weight regain after gastric bypass surgeries, the first step is to evaluate their diet and exercise habits. It’s not uncommon for old eating habits to creep back in gradually over time.  Emotional eating is a common problem among many bariatric patients. It’s always addressed before surgery, usually in the form of counseling or therapy sessions. But, it can resurface at any time if you aren’t practicing mindfulness in your eating habits. Another common reason for weight regain is not prioritizing physical activity. Aside from proper nutrition, a big part of bariatric surgery success is a patient’s commitment to a regular exercise routine. 

It’s important to note that a certain level of weight gain in bariatric surgery patients is normal. When a patient has lost significant amounts of weight, a regain of 5 pounds over time is perfectly normal. In fact, bariatric surgery success is defined as retaining 50% of your weight loss five years after the initial procedure was performed. It is rare that patients gain back all of the weight they lost after their surgery. At a certain point, it’s totally normal for active weight loss to slow down and your body will recalibrate.

For some patients, weight gain after gastric bypass surgeries isn’t related to diet and exercise. There are 2 primary circumstances where another surgery is medically warranted, although rare. The first is a complication called a fistula. This is where the body forms a new, alternate pathway from the one created during surgery. It can result in weight gain, as well as other symptoms like abdominal pain and fever. 

The second complication is typically exclusive to patients who have had the Roux-en-y gastric bypass procedure. It is referred to as gastrojejunal stoma dilation. The gastrojejunal stoma is a surgically created connection from the pouch to the small intestine. Studies have shown that this connection can dilate, resulting in increased weight regain. 

For some patients, a failed procedure can mean the specific procedure option they choose may not have been the best fit for them. For example, a patient may have opted for a lap band surgery that resulted in side effects. In this instance, a revisional surgery can remove the lap band and change to a different gastric bypass option. 

Talk to a Gastric Bypass Surgeon Today

Our surgeons at the BASS Bariatric Surgery Center have been performing bariatric surgery since 2002. They have performed more than 1,000 operations and our patients have had excellent results. Our patients have lost more weight than the national average and our complication rate is significantly lower. Our surgeons’ experience, teamwork, and attention to detail have helped to ensure successful outcomes for our patients. We have Weight Loss Surgery Centers in Walnut Creek and Brentwood. Schedule a consultation to meet a gastric bypass surgeon and their team. We look forward to partnering with you to reach your weight loss goals. 

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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