Reasons For Weight Regain After Weight Loss Procedures

Many people seek medical intervention to help them combat obesity, and many of them are successful in losing a significant amount of weight. If you have ever wondered how many people regain weight after weight loss surgery, you may be surprised to learn that the answer is about half of them.

Today we are going to look at some of the reasons people experience weight regain after weight loss. We will talk about the mechanisms of weight regain after weight loss and how sometimes it is a direct result of the patient’s actions, and in other cases, it may be something totally out of their control. We will also highlight that partnering with a reputable weight loss professional can help maintain weight loss in the long term.

How Many People Regain The Weight After Weight Loss Surgery?

Around 50% of the individuals who lose weight as a result of surgical intervention (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass) end up regaining some of the weight they initially lost after their surgery. Gaining a small amount of weight back within one to two years after gastric sleeve surgery is fairly common, but some patients regain all of their lost weight and experience the recurrence of serious health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol issues, and more.

One study showed that among the 300 participants who underwent gastric bypass surgery, 37% of them gained more than 25% of their lost weight back within six years of their initial surgery.

Another study of over 1400 gastric bypass patients reported some interesting statistics related to weight regain after weight loss when compared to the lowest weight they reached after having surgery (nadir weight). This study showed these percentages of weight regain over five years.

Weight Regain After Weight Loss Surgery – Gastric Bypass
Time duration after surgery Percentage of weight regained during this time
One Year 5.7%
Two Years 10.1%
Three Years 12.9%
Four Years 14.2 %
Five Years 15%

This same study also reported that by the fifth year, over 72% of the participants had gained 10% or more of their weight back.

What Causes Weight Regain After Weight Loss?

Many studies have been conducted to determine why people gain weight after they have had bariatric surgery, and there can be several causes.

Anatomic failure can contribute to weight gain after surgery as well as the body’s natural compensation responses, but the most prevalent reasons are attributed to unhealthy eating habits and patient lifestyle choices.

1. Anatomic Changes
During weight loss surgery, the stomach is made smaller, and sometimes other alterations are made to the digestive system. If the patient chronically eats a little too much, the stomach can stretch out and allow more food to enter before it signals that it is full. The more stretched it becomes, the more food it is able to hold, and the more frequently it sends out hunger pangs. When the stomach stretches out, the restrictive nature of the original surgery becomes ineffective.

Additionally, the smaller stomach has a connection called the stoma, which leads to the digestive system and regulates the amount of food that gets through and how quickly it travels. This stoma can become stretched out over time and allow enough extra food to pass through, which results in weight gain. This normally occurs as a result of the patient overeating on a consistent basis.

2. Physiological Compensation
Physiological compensation can result in weight regain after weight loss, as it is the body’s built-in way to ensure survival. When a serious calorie deficit is created, the body thinks we are starving to death, and it makes some automatic changes to preserve our energy supply and ensure we remain alive. The metabolism slows down to a snail’s pace, the body holds onto the stored fat, and the brain starts sending out massive alerts to the stomach, telling us how hungry we are. These changes are counterproductive when we are deliberately trying to lose weight and can promote weight gain.

In some cases, there may be a breakdown in communication between the brain and the stomach, so the process is not working correctly. Typically, when things are working normally, it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message from the stomach: “Hey, it’s full down here; stop eating.” This is why experts recommend that we eat slowly, so this message is delivered in a timely manner and we do not overeat. When this process is impaired, knowing when to stop eating becomes an issue, and weight regain begins.

3. Patient Compliance Issues
Patient compliance issues are most often the culprits behind weight regain after weight loss. Falling back into unhealthy eating patterns and not following their dietary plan or getting enough exercise, loss of control eating, as well as psychological issues (depression, anxiety) can also contribute to weight regain after weight loss. Often, patients who were binge eaters before their weight loss surgery turn to graze after their surgery, meaning they are constantly eating unplanned small bits of food in between meals without control, which leads to weight gain.

A small study was done in Sweden with participants who had undergone gastric bypass surgery about 10 years prior and had experienced weight regain. They were given surveys to complete that would provide researchers with some reason to assign to the weight regain. Participants listed the following as contributors to their weight regain:

  • Having meals in a social environment;
  • Feeling lonely or depressed;
  • Having family issues;
  • They felt hungrier than ever and felt they had no control over their eating;
  • Physical and mental issues that got them off track.

The participants went on to share that gaining some of their weight back made them feel hopeless, discouraged, ashamed, and frustrated. This may be one of the reasons these patients do not seek help when the weight regain starts.

How Can You Keep From Regaining Weight After Weight Loss?

Maintaining your weight loss and avoiding weight regain after weight loss surgery can be tough. Having a strong support system is one of the key elements of being successful in sustaining your goal weight. This goes beyond just the support of your family and friends and extends to seeking professional guidance from a doctor who is trained in obesity management.

Dr. Batash Explains & Illustrates The Endoscopic Revision Procedure!

Dr.Batash explains the options for revision procedures and illustrates how it works! If interested in further information or to schedule a consultation, please call us at tel:(718)-830-0004.

Dr. Steven Batash and his team at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center can help individuals who have regained weight after weight loss surgery. Their expertise in endoscopic revision techniques can often correct anatomical changes that are contributing to weight regain without surgery.

The professionals at Batash Medical understand how complex weight management is, and they can help you get through your challenging areas by implementing proven strategies. You will have access to an entire team of support professionals who can help you with dietary guidance, menu planning, behavioral therapy, and making effective physical activity choices.

Effective weight loss is not achieved through a one-size-fits-all solution, and Dr. Batash and his support team customize a plan that is right for you and your circumstances using their specialized knowledge and providing the support you need to reach and maintain your weight loss goal.

If you have regained weight after weight loss surgery, do not let the issue get any more out of hand. Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center has a solution for you. We can help you get back on track – no judgment, just results. Contact us today to find out your options for non-surgical revision and get your weight loss jump started once again.

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