When I was around 20 weeks post-surgery, I began to get concerned my gastric bypass had failed. When you get gastric bypass surgery, the purpose is for food to be transported directly to the pouch to the middle of your small intestine without passing through other parts of your stomach or small intestine. In essence, this procedure increases satiety so that you feel fuller with smaller amounts of food. So, can a gastric bypass fail? Keep reading below to find out!
Can Gastric Bypass Fail?
The simple answer to this question is yes. However, it is not likely to fail. Research has found that gastric bypass surgery has helped the majority of patients lose 60-80% of their excess weight in two to three years. In fact, there is only 11.2% failure rate after 24-months
Cases where patients have not achieved their weight loss goal, it is usually due to the lack of compliance with the physician’s recommendations. In order for gastric bypass to be successful, you must follow your physician’s recommendations for diet, exercise, medication, and supplements before and after the procedure.
In some cases, the pouch can dilate over time. This allows you to increase the quantity of food you eat thus causing weight gain. If this happens, there are endoscopic procedures that can be used to reduce the size of the pouch. You may have to do several 30-minute treatments.
Weight Loss Plateau
Many times patients will hit a weight loss plateau and believe the procedure has failed. There are many factors that affect your ability to lose weight continuously. You can prevent this by making a few adjustments.
Eat Nutritious Meals
One reason your weight loss has stalled is that you are not eating healthy, nutritious, solid meals. It can be difficult to eat solid foods after gastric bypass surgery. However, easier options that are semi-solid or liquid are packed with calories. Foods that may be easy to eat, but will pack on those pounds include ice cream, mashed potatoes, and milkshakes.
In addition to these soft foods being packed with calories, they aren’t very filling. Thus, you will be hungry again in a few hours. This can stagnate your weight loss. Eat healthy food.
Eat Enough Calories
This may sound counter-intuitive, but when you are eating fewer calories, your body goes into starvation mode. If you are not eating enough calories for your body to function, it will start storing everything that you eat. Thus, you will not lose weight if you aren’t eating the perfect amount of calories.
Not exercising is another reason that many will see their weight loss plateau. As with any weight loss journey, exercise and diet play a crucial role. If you notice your weight plateauing, start going for a walk each day, ride a bike for 20-minutes, or start an exercise regime.
Don’t Exercise Too Much
Although you do want to exercise regularly, you don’t want to overdo it. As stated above, your body is surviving on fewer calories. This can put your body into starvation mode which has it stores everything you eat instead of burning it.
Can a Gastric Bypass Fail: Tips To Prevent It
If you are worried your gastric bypass surgery will fail, there are steps you can take to prevent it. These tips will also help you to reverse the effects of a failed surgery.
- Follow your physician’s recommendations
- Eat healthy meals
- Take vitamins and supplements
- Exercise without excess
- Eat smaller portions more often
- Drink lots of water
- Drink liquids while eating
- Don’t drink liquids with calories
- Have regular follow-ups with your physician
- Try doing a pouch reset
- Look into Endoscopic Suturing to reduce pouch size
If you are looking into gastric bypass surgery and are concerned about it failing, discuss this concern with your doctor. Additionally, if you believe your surgery has failed, contact your physician to begin steps to stop it.