Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery & How to Avoid or Reverse It

Reviewed by: John Rabkin, MD

Are you likely to experience weight gain after bariatric surgery? It depends on factors both in and out of your control.


How Much Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery Should You Expect?

The procedure you choose will play a large part in determining how much weight you will gain back after you hit your low point.

Patients who undergo primarily restrictive procedures (i.e. procedures that are not calorie malabsorptive, including gastric bypass surgery, mini gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery and lap band surgery) usually gain around 8 to 10% of their weight back.

Malabsorptive procedures such as duodenal switch surgery have been shown to result in greater maintained excess weight loss over the long-term. After any weight regain, patients who undergo malabsorptive procedures experience at least 10% to 15% greater excess weight loss than restrictive procedures.

Regardless of which procedure you choose (or chose), the possibility for weight gain after a bariatric procedure will remain present throughout your life.

Remember… bariatric surgery is only a tool. You’ll need to continue doing the right things and making the right choices for the surgery to be effective over the long run…

7 Ways To Minimize Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

YOUR Weight Loss Journey

Help visitors like you by sharing your advice related to this page or other topics

The key to preventing long term weight regain and reducing your risk of bariatric surgery complications is to learn and address potential pitfalls early on.

Seven behaviors have been proven to reduce the chance of weight gain after bariatric surgery:

  1. Join and participate in a good weight loss surgery support group – weight loss surgery patients who actively participate in support groups have roughly a 10% lower body mass index than patients who do not.3
  2. Two Weight Loss Surgery Support Group Options

    Following is a comparison of your two weight loss surgery support group options:

    • In-person meetings, such as those offered by your surgeon
    • Anonymous online meetings, such as BariGroups
    Meeting Moderation
    Meeting Moderation
    Start Session with Educational Topic
    Start Session with Educational Topic
    Meeting Location
    Meeting Location
    Meeting Times
    Meeting Times
    In-Person Meetings
    Meeting Moderation
    Moderated by Bariatric Professional
    Start Session with Educational Topic
    Meeting Location
    Physical Location
    Meeting Times
    Limited; Usually no more than 1 per week
    Anonymous: Nurse Moderator Shares Video & Audio; Participants Join by Audio Only
    Meeting Moderation
    Moderated by Bariatric Nurses
    Start Session with Educational Topic
    Meeting Location
    Attend from Anywhere from Any Device (Phone or Internet)
    Meeting Times
    Multiple per week
    Free (Tipping Nurse Moderator is Optional)
  3. Stop binge eating well before surgery – Patients with binge eating disorder (BED) tend to lose less weight after surgery.  Receiving treatment for BED prior to surgery will lead to less weight gain after bariatric surgery.1
  4. Lose as much weight as possible prior to surgery – Your body mass index (BMI) prior to surgery directly relates to how much weight you’ll lose and keep off.  For example, one study showed that morbidly obese patients (BMI between 40 and 49.9) had a 15% higher likelihood than super obese patients (BMI of 50 or more) to keep off at least half of their excess weight 10 years after surgery.2
  5. Address alcohol and drug abuse problems as they will cause weight gain after bariatric surgery and potentially lead to bariatric surgery complications.  Your surgeon and bariatric surgery insurance company will both require a psychological evaluation before they approve surgery and the evaluation will include this topic.  Be prepared to be honest with your psychologist and work with them to get any problems under control.
  6. Follow your bariatric doctors’ advice to the letter – this may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many patients follow their doctors’ orders for the first year or two and then slowly begin to slip back into their old habits.  The best bariatric doctors are not only good in the operating room but are also trained and experienced in helping patients keep the weight off long-term.
  7. Address food urges and lack of well being if you start to experience them after surgery – If you begin to experience increased food urges, depression or other emotional problems following surgery, talk with your bariatric doctors right away and bring these issues out in the open with your family and support group.  Patients who experience these feelings and don’t address them usually gain more weight back.  
  8. Continue to get nutritional counseling – patients who continue to monitor their diet with the help of a professional (your surgeon-referred dietitian or nutritionist) have better long-term results.4   Good bariatric doctors partner with or will refer you to a nutritionist or dietitian, so you should not need to find one on your own.  The key is to never stop seeing them.  For DS patients, diet and exercise works especially well and is very effective towards losing weight after any weight regain.

    Review the following pages for more about proper diet and eating habits…

In addition to the above, the following pages will set you up for success, both reducing your risk of complications and minimizing your weight gain after bariatric surgery…

Surgical Options for Reversing Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

Due to its inherent risks and high price tag, surgery to address weight regain should be your last resort.

If you have not done so already, please review the non-surgical options listed above, especially support groups. If you’re not actively participating in one now, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective they can be.

If you’ve already tried everything else, contact a top surgeon’s office to discuss your options.

See the following pages depending on which procedure you had:

Did You Experience Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery?

– How much weight did you lose before the weight regain started?

– How long after surgery did it begin?

– Which type of weight loss surgery did you have?

– What diet, exercise or other factors caused your weight regain?

– What did you do to stop or reverse it?

– If you haven’t experienced weight regain, give us your advice about how you’ve been able to avoid it.

Please share your experiences to help other bariatric surgery patients avoid pitfalls, keep their weight off and reverse weight regain if necessary…

Close Help

Entering your story is easy to do. Just type!…

Your story will appear on a Web page exactly the way you enter it here. You can wrap a word in square brackets to make it appear bold. For example [my story] would show as my story on the Web page containing your story.

TIP: Since most people scan Web pages, include your best thoughts in your first paragraph.

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]

Close Help

Do you have a picture to add? It can be anything relating to your story, such as a before or after photo or something that helped you with your decision like your surgeon, a chart/picture/diagram relating to your chosen procedure, friends and family, etc.

Click the button and find it on your computer. Then select it.


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

submission guidelines.

Other Visitors’ Experiences with Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

Weight Gain Due to Poor Diet Choices 8 Years After Gastric Sleeve

So I always told myself that if I gained weight back it would be my ultimate failure in life, and yes, I have gained. I had gastric sleeve surgery 8…

17 Years After Gastric Bypass & Gained 60 Pounds Back

In 1998, I had a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass done. I was 277 lbs the date of my surgery. I lost over the next 6 months down to 145 lbs, for…

Gastric Sleeve After Failed Gastric Bypass

Can gastric sleeve surgery be done after a failed gastric bypass? My gastric bypass surgery was performed 9 years ago. I had decent weight loss but I am gaining again…

Health Decline & Weight Regain 3 Years After Bariatric Surgery

I had bariatric surgery 3 years ago. I lost 135 lbs. and felt GREAT. Then suddenly my health started to suffer. I have to admit that I made some poor…

Food & Bowel Problems Advice One Month After Gastric Sleeve

I had a bariatric sleeve done June 24, 2015. So far I have lost 31 pounds. I am having a hard time finding things to eat. Baby food tastes nasty…

Breast Cancer After Gastric Sleeve Followed By Weight Regain

I had WLS in July 2013.....I went with the gastric sleeve. I lost 80 pounds and got down to 135 pounds. I was in a solid size 6. Last June,…

Weight Regain & Supplements Questions 13 Years After Gastric Bypass

I was 310 lbs, in 2001, when I had my Roux En Y Gastric Bypass in South Florida. I got down to 160 and kept that off for many years…

Stopped Losing Weight 3 Years After Gastric Bypass Surgery

I lost 100 lbs the first year after gastric bypass surgery, then I stopped losing weight. I was eating the wrong food, but now I am back on track and…

50 Lb Regain 5 Years After Gastric Bypass Surgery

It began after 5 years. I thought I had it beat. I had gastric bypass. I joined a gym and thought I was doing it right. I started to regain…

Getting Fat Again 15 Years After Weight Loss Surgery

Hi, my name is Tonya. I had a Mini-Gastric bypass on September 6, 2000. I did great. I lost a total of 257 pounds. I weighed 377 and I had…

Weight Regain One Year After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

About a year and a half ago I had gastric sleeve surgery and lost about 30 kgs (66 lbs) which is perfect. However, my stomach stretched and I started to…

Has My Gastric Pouch Stretched?

I had gastric bypass 10 years ago and lost a total of 90 lbs. I am going through menopause and started taking Prozac. Since then, I have gained thirty pounds!…

Weight regain after 12 years with renewed sugar craving

I had surgery 12 years ago and maintained weight loss of 100 pounds all that time... until the last 2 months. I would gain about 10 pounds in the winter…

Dealing with Loss and Weight Gain After Lap Band Surgery

I lost 25 lbs prior to my lap band surgery on May 6, 2011 and 25 lbs after my surgery, but I have gained back about 10 lbs so far.…

Weight Regain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

I had Gastric Sleeve done 1 year and 7 months ago and for about 5 months I have been gaining weight... about 23 pounds total. I think it is because…

Depressed and hopeless from weight gain after gastric bypass

I had gastric bypass surgery in Birmingham, England about 5 years ago. I loved the weight that dropped off... I lost 9 stone (126 lbs) in total. But over the…

Trying to reverse the weight regain after gastric bypass surgery

I was at 317 lbs when I had my surgery in 2001, and I was at 170 lbs when I finally quit losing weight about a year and a half…

Weight regain after bariatric surgery - how to get back on track

I had bariatric surgery 4 yrs ago..5 in Oct. I was doing so good and on a set schedule with food, exercise, and support. Then we moved and I was…

Weight gain after bariatric surgery and symptoms similar to hyperglycemia

My surgery was several years ago - 1989 and at that time I only lost about 75 lbs. from weighting 211 lbs. I exercised by walking when I was able…

8 years post-weight loss surgery and out of control!

I had laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery 8 years ago and went from 300 ponds down to 160 pounds. I maintained a 140 pound weight loss for 5 years and had…

I thought it was over my struggle with food

Before going for my gastric sleeve operation my weight was 29 stones and 8 pounds. Six months later I was almost 17 stones lighter. I totally embraced my after-op program:…

7 stones regained 3 years after gastric bypass surgery

Well, as I approach my 3rd year since my gastric bypass operation I am fast regaining all the weight I lost, which at my lowest was 7 stones (98 lbs).…

Bitter disappointment - why I gained back 40 pounds after weight loss surgery

I gained about 40 pounds back of the 100 that I lost and I feel like I'm spiraling out of control. It's been two years since my surgery and I'm…

Encouragement for weight struggles after bariatric surgery

Something that tugs at my heart is when I hear about fellowWLS friends who are struggling in their post op lives and don’t reach out because of guilt, embarrassment and…

9 stone lost, 2 and a half stone re-gained 2 years after gastric bypass surgery

I was really happy with the weight loss following the gastric bypass, and I lost 9 stone in total. I decided against the banding because I needed to feel the…

Weight struggles after surgery

I lost about 19 or so pounds while taking behavior modification classes prior to surgery. So I went in at 222 the day of surgery. My all time low after…

Not Losing Weight After Bariatric Surgery

I had surgery on October 20th, and in 6 weeks lost 30 pounds. Since then I have been hovering at the same weight (up 2 down 2) and am wondering…

Lost 7 stones after weight loss surgery but have regained 2 stones

I was 20 stones (280 lbs) before weight loss surgery, then I went down to 13 stones (182 lbs) in 2 years. But now as I approach my 3rd year,…

Slow weight loss and weight regain after gastric bypass surgery

I had weight loss surgery in 2004 and it took me 5 years to lose 100 lbs. When I had the surgery I weighed 342 lbs. I had gastric bypass…

Gained Back Weight After Gastric Bypass Surgery

I had gastric bypass surgery on 3/2006 and lost close to 130lbs. Now almost 6 years later I have gained 20 pounds back in a year. I'm thinking about getting…

Worried About Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass Surgery

I am very worried about weight gain after gastric bypass surgery. A lot of people I know have lost weight after surgery and then gained quite a bit back. I…

Post-op bariatric weight gain (after gastric bypass surgery)

I had the laparoscopic gastric bypass when I was 38. I lost about 190 pounds in just a little over a year's time! I have been mainly eating proteins and…

Why would I gain weight only 4 months after gastric bypass?

I am 4 and a half months out post-op from gastric bypass surgery. I had really speedy weight loss at first (90 pounds in 3 and a half months). Now,…

Why would I have stopped losing weight 4 1/2 months after my duodenal switch?

I had my duodenal switch on 3/10/11 and started out at 275. For the last 2 weeks, I have not lost any weight so I am stuck at 206. I…

Weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery

I went into surgery at 330 lbs - when I went under for surgery I thought I was having gastric bypass. During surgery it came to be known that my…

The Realities of Weight Loss After Lap Band Surgery

I got my band November 21, 2009. Pretty quickly I lost 30 pounds, and then it slowed down to where I had "only" lost 75 pounds by last spring, more…

Regain of 35 lbs after gastric bypass - Getting back on track

- How much weight did you lose before the weight regain started? 130lbs- How long after surgery did it begin? 5 years- Which type of weight loss surgery did you…

Lost 145, Gained Back 30

I had lap band in October 2010 and the weight seemed to just melt off. I started at 317 and was down to 172. I followed what my doctor &…

Help I Am Losing Control

I had the surgery about 5 years ago and I was doing so well. Then I lost my job and started eating from boredom. First it was just a small…

Dreaded Regain 13 Years after surgery

I have begun to regain and I am afraid of getting out of control. My highest weight was 365 and my lowest was 140. I maintained 140 for 8 years.…

Uncontrollable Sugar Cravings 5 Years After Weight Loss Surgery

My sugar cravings are out of control. I crave mostly sugary food items and find it hard to eat normal food. I also can't seem to get enough protein in.…

No Weight Regain Here

I received my RNY open gastric by pass April 7 2003. I was 417 lbs, now I'm between 185 and 195. My weight gain is muscle mass when I don't…

Getting Back on Track After Weight Regain

I am almost 4 years out from surgery. I initially lost 150 pounds. Over the past year I have gained back 20 pounds. I had the RNY Gastric Bypass. I…

Feel Like a Failure

I had my lap band surgery in 2008, my weight was 270. I didn't lose weight rapidly, but in January of 2010 I was at 180. I looked and felt…

Gastric Bypass Weight Regain After Foot Surgery - Help!

I weighed 397 pounds prior to my gastric bypass surgery. I had done absolutely fantastic. There were no problems post-op. I went from not even being able to get into…

Feeling like a failure

I had my surgery in May of 2010. Prior to my surgery, I was working out like a crazy person and did follow a clean diet. The big "D" word.…

Ughhh... Don't Let Your Good Eating & Exercise Habits Slip After Bariatric Surgery

I was 270 lbs prior to my RNY procedure. Within 2 years I was down to 153 and in a size 8 pant and a medium shirt. I had a…

Keeping the weight off after bariatric surgery

I lost 80 lbs. total, then gained back 20 lbs. Went on weight watchers and lost my goal of 10 lbs (looked too boney at 80lb. loss). Now, 11 months…

Weight Loss Surgery Plateaus, Doldrums and Being Becalmed

If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard the plaintive cry of the WLS blogger “why haven’t I lost weight?!” I’d be rich. Or – better still -…

Weight Regain After Total Unfill of Lap Band

I had lap band surgery in July 2007 . The day I hit my goal weight of 125 pounds after losing 125 pounds, I slipped my band.I was so upset!…

Weight Regain 20 Years After Surgery - Help!

At age 32, I had a stomach stapling done about 20 years ago, and went from 335lbs (5 foot 2) to 175lbs. I got fit and healthy and life was…



  • Sallet PC, et al. Eating Behavior as a Prognostic Factor for Weight Loss after Gastric Bypass. Obesity Surgery Volume 17, Number 4 / April, 2007 Pages 445-451.
  • Christou NV, et al. Weight Gain After Short- and Long-Limb Gastric Bypass in Patients Followed for Longer Than 10 Years. Ann Surg. 2006 November; 244(5): 734–740.
    doi: 10.1097/01.sla.0000217592.04061.d5.
  • Orth WS, et al.  Support Group Meeting Attendance is Associated with Better Weight Loss. Obesity Surgery Volume 18, Number 4 / April, 2008 pgs 391-394.
  • Faria SL, et al.  Nutritional Management of Weight Regain After Bariatric Surgery
    Obesity Surgery. Available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/w716724l2u68l31u/
  • Weight gain after bariatric surgery as a result of a large gastric stoma: endotherapy with sodium morrhuate may prevent the need for surgical revision
    Marc F. Catalano, Goran Rudic, Alfred J. Anderson, Thomas Y. Chua
    Gastrointestinal Endoscopy – August 2007 (Vol. 66, Issue 2, Pages 240-245, DOI: 10.1016/j.gie.2006.06.061)
  • Treatment of weight regain after gastric bypass surgery when using a new endoscopic platform: initial experience and early outcomes (with video)
    Daniel K. Mullady, David B. Lautz, Christopher C. Thompson
    Gastrointestinal Endoscopy – September 2009 (Vol. 70, Issue 3, Pages 440-444, DOI: 10.1016/j.gie.2009.01.042)
  • UC San Diego Medical Center Press Release: Data Shows Incision-free Procedure Reverses Weight Regain after Gastric Bypass Surgery. June 2009.  Available at: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2009/6-29-rose-procedure.htm.
  • Thompson, C.1; Slattery, J.; Bundga, M.; Lautz, D. Peroral endoscopic reduction of dilated gastrojejunal anastomosis after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: a possible new option for patients with weight regain. Surgical Endoscopy, Volume 20, Number 11, November 2006 , pp. 1744-1748(5)
  • Dapri G, et al.  Laparoscopic Placement of Non-Adjustable Silicone Ring for Weight Regain After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. Obesity Surgery Volume 19, Number 5 / May, 2009 Pages 650-654.

[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 05/17/2016]

Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Read More