Breast Cancer After Gastric Sleeve Followed By Weight Regain

Question Below Submitted By:  

Michelle (a patient from Alabama, USA)

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, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was caught very early and my prognosis is excellent. I actually lost some weight during chemo but I have gradually put on an extra 15 pounds and now at 151 pounds.

I am doing my protein shakes religiously and eating lean protein and vegetables. I am just now easing back into exercise as my body allows. The fatigue from having chemo really has kept me from being able to exercise.

I also had a bilateral mastectomy and will undergo reconstruction surgery in the near future.

At this time, I still have what are called tissue expanders in that help stretch the chest muscles for the placement of implants. These tissue expanders had saline added over a period of a few months.

I am just really discouraged about the weight gain because some things mentally never go away. I am going to always be obsessed with my weight.

I also do not want to have to go buy new clothes because I feel like if i let myself go and buy a size 8 then I will be comfortable and then maybe gain more weight.

In addition, I don’t have the money to replace my wardrobe. It would just be easier to lose the extra weight.

I did the 5 day pouch test…lost 4 pounds and could tell my sleeve seemed to have “shrunk” back down some.

Is there anyone out there that has had to deal with this? I am also going to have to go on a medication that may cause weight gain. That worries me as well. HELP!!!!!

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01.

Expert Responses to the Question Above

Breast Cancer after Gastric Sleeve and weight regain

by: Nadia Barhoumeh-Lee

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for sharing your story Michelle.It is disappointing to regain weight after WLS, but you must remember you survived cancer, that's incredible.

The good news for you, Michelle, is that your WLS tool still works and you can and will lose the weight once your body settles down after your breast reconstructive surgery.

Please don't be too hard on yourself, what you went through was not east and likely still isn't! Allow your entire self to heal, not just your body.

Everything that happens affects all elements of your being.

It does really sound like you know how to use your WLS tool. There are just so many factors that effect our bodies, including sickness and health. The most important thing is you are healthy.

Your weight will come off, it will, the surgery does work.

Be patient, focus on being healthy and not just the weight. I would love to see you join a support group if you aren't already doing that! Feel free to join my free online support group, it will help, I'm sure of it. :)

Take good care,

Nadia Barhoumeh-Lee, RN

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

02.

Patient Responses to the Question Above

WLS and breast cancer

by: Dee

Hello Michelle,

Thanks for sharing your WLS and breast cancer. It's nice to hear that the cancer was caught in the early stage. I had VSG on July 26, 2017. I've lost a total of 79 pounds which includes pre and post op. I feel really good with my progress.

Within the last few weeks, I'm been experiencing a slight discomfort in my right breast. It's hard to describe the feeling. I just know that there's some present that's not normal.

The first thing comes to mind is breast cancer. I call the mammogram department to schedule an appointment and was told that since I had a recent test in March of this year that my doctor would have to send a referral to be checked again. I am very scared that I might have breast cancer. How did you feel? What was your symptoms? Did you feel a lump in your breast. Please forgive me if I'm getting to personal.

I would love to hear from you. Thanks.

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