Burping, Hungry & No Bowel Movements After Gastric Sleeve

Question Below Submitted By:  

Nancy (a patient from Maryland)

I had a sleeve gastrectomy done on September 29th. I am now constantly burping no matter how slowly I take in one ounce of fluid every 15 minutes, and even worse, I am ravenously HUNGRY. I was under the impression that the hunger hormone was reduced significantly or removed with the portion of stomach that they took out of me. I am drinking protein first, using Optisource. Still hungry.

I haven’t been able to go to the bathroom for a bowel movements either. I am miserable. I have no pain other than tenderness on the left side at the site of one of my incisions.

My surgeon repaired my hiatal hernia, and he used the larger diameter rod of the two sizes normally used. Could it be that since part of my stomach was wrapped around my esophagus and the larger pouch created, that he did not actually remove the part of my stomach that produces ghrelin?

I would hate to think that I am going to spend the rest of my life hungry. Could it take awhile for the hunger hormone to dissipate?

I wake up with my stomach absolutely hurting with hunger. PLEASE reassure me, I am already regretting having this surgery because I cannot foresee a better place in a few months.


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon Response to "Burping, Hungry & No Bowel Movements After Gastric Sleeve"

by: Dr. Gilberto Ungson

Hello Nancy,

If your surgeon repaired a hiatal hernia at the time of the vertical sleeve he would not have done the Nissen Funduplication which entails wrapping the fundus around the esophagus, he would just have stitched the hernia closed.

This is the common protocol for repairing hernias with a sleeve and even lap band.

Having had a hernia repaired at the same time, you are more swollen than someone who has not had the hernia repaired. This swelling is what is causing you the discomfort while drinking, even drinking slowly.

It will get better as the swelling goes down.

Be patient and keep drinking as this is your most important job right now. Drinking enough daily is crucial to help with bowel movements.

You need to make sure you are having all your liquids daily, measure them to be sure. If after making sure you are having 64 ounces of liquids a day you still do not have any bowel movements, ask your doctor what you can take to help.

Are your taking PPIs daily? Did your doctor prescribe any type of acid inhibitors?

If you are taking them daily you might want to ask your doctor if you can increase the dosage. Excess acid causes a "hollow" feeling that is very similar to hunger. Intestinal noises are also related to acid.

We have many patients that complain of hunger and after increasing the dosage in under a week they are suddenly not hungry anymore. The medication is needed initially while the body learns that so much acid production is not needed.

You will feel better as you give your body more time to heal.

Be patient... you have a great tool and long term you will not regret having it done.

Dr. Gilberto Ungson

Mexicali Bariatric Center

(click here for Dr. Ungson's full bio & contact info)

Dr. Gilberto Ungson

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.

Related Pages:
- Bariatric Diet (What you eat)
- Bariatric Eating (How you eat)
- Bariatric Vitamins
- Life After Weight Loss Surgery
- Life after bariatric surgery - experiences from other patients


Patient Responses to the Question Above

hunger and constipation after weight loss surgery

by: Nadia Barhoumeh-Lee

Hi Nancy,

Hoping you are feeling much better by now and both your hunger and weight have been reduced.

The first few weeks after surgery can be very tough.

Following up with your surgeon for immediate concerns is so critical in the short term and the long run. As you probably already heard and have come to know, weight loss surgery is only a tool and it's not perfect.

It works well to help people lose weight but its not fool proof. It's easy to think that the hunger will go away and the weight will come right off.

For some, the hunger is greatly reduced, but there's still hunger.

It's important to focus on eating protein at the beginning of each meal, I know that was difficult at the beginning and I'm hoping that's gotten easier for you.

Eating protein reduces hunger, fills you up and takes longer to digest keeping you satisfied longer.

Wishing you good health,
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.

Gas and burping. No pooping.

by: Anonymous

I had my surgery one week ago. I too am hungry and have broken down crying because of this. As far as the gas issue people are talking about... Gas X strips have been my best friend. They help a lot. The not pooping issue... Drink more water.

I was told by my doctor to drink water with electrolytes. Between my water, protein shake, sf jello, and soups I am getting enough liquids and I personally poop 3 times a day. This is TMI (too much information) but I'm sure we have gone through it. There is no solidness whatsoever to my bowel movements. It's like I'm peeing! However, I do release gas and fecal matter. I would suggest adding more water to your daily diet.

Can't burp or poop

by: Anonymous

Just had gastric sleeve surgery four days ago and I can't burp or pass gas, can some help with trying to burp or pass gas please, the pain is horrible.

Bowel Irregularities

by: Queen

I too had my surgery 6/2/15 as a birthday gift to myself. Since then I've lost 52lbs! I'm super excited except I'm going days without having a bowel movement. I tried taking "The Cleaner" which REALLY worked before the surgery but after only had me regurgitating WHILE I was having a bowel movement (TMI?)

I find that eggs are no longer my friend and I have gas only after I eat. I'm constantly having people hit my back as I swallow like I'm a baby or it will not pass. Little pain on my left side every blue moon but my incisions left horrible scars :-(

Anywho, nice to know I'm not alone.

Good Luck everyone!

Gastric Sleeve hunger and burping

by: Hazel

Hi Nancy,

I had a gastric sleeve carried out 4 years ago with no problems except it stopped working after around a year. I had a revision Dec 2013. Unfortunately, I then had a gastric leak. It would take too long to go into the issues with the leak, but I now get a lot of reflux whilst eating. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for it with regards to what I eat, it always happens when I am eating no means I take up to 1 1/2 hours to eat a very small meal as I have to wait for the regurgitation to stop before I can take another mouthful. Sometimes, I am also a little sick.

It is driving me mad and increasing the dose of my Lansoprazole has not helped, I am also hungry all the time. I would have thought that there were no Ghrelin receptors left in my stomach as it is really now just a tube as it is a revision, but I get the shakes me can't think straight as if I am going hypoglycaemic. I have taken my blood sugars, but they are OK. I am constantly thinking of food and have to carry something around with me to eat in case I get hungry. Even a protein shake or a Slimfast does not fill me. With regards to the constipation it is usually due to lack of fibre whilst you are adjusting your food intake. I had it very badly and used Sennakot tablets or even glycerine suppositories occasionally. It has eased off now I am eating more fibre, but if my fibre intake goes down, it still comes back and I end up carrying out manual evacuations on myself.

I hope things improve for you, I am sure they will, but if anyone can give advice on why people are still hungry even after a gastric sleeve, I would also appreciate it.

Take care of yourself and good luck.


Feeling Hungry

by: Angela

Hi I am 3 weeks post op and I am feeling hungry all the time! I am still on puree as my tummy cant handle solid foods as yet, I eat puree 150mls but find an hour later I am starving! My tummy is making noises and I burp quite a bit as well! I too thought the hunger hormone is cut away!! I am really Frustrated as I don't want to over do it but I am pulling my hair out to why I am so hungry!! Please help


by: Anonymous

Had my sleeve 11/4/14 and down 60 pounds.

Still have issues with burping after eating; gets really annoying.

Had constipation issues a lot in the beginning so I'd take 2 Wal-Mart brand laxative pills (about $0.89 a box of 30 or so).

That does the trick but I was having to take them every Saturday for several months.

Occasionally I still have an issue so I'll pop 2 pills when I need them.

But the burping...omg I'm tired of it!! Everytime I eat I burp for about an hour afterwards.

I've heard it gets better; time will tell but it's been 8 months so far.

Burping, hungry & constipated

by: Corinna

I am about 6 weeks post op. Had my surgery on 6/2/15. I'm hungry all the time. I was hoping this surgery would help. But it didn't. So sad. I also had constipation. I added Pro-Biotics to my group of meds and it has helped tremendously. I've only lost 23 pounds since my surgery. Which really sucks. Trying to stay positive.

Good luck everyone.


by: Felicia

I had my surgery on 5/6/15. Since then I have had major constipation. I went 7 days and there was not a bowel movement so I asked my surgeon. I was told to drink mag citrate to get it going. I went 3 or 4 times that night. I started adding mirilax to my morning protein shake but to no avail I still cant go without help. I dont know what else to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thankfully misery has company

by: Rashida

I am so very relieved to find this post. My procedure was 5/19/15 & I am hungry, constipated and also have tenderness on my upper left side. I have a constant feeling of morning sickness & I am a bit anxious that I am not loosing enough weight. It's reassuring to know that I am not alone in this struggle to adapt to my new tool.

Bowel Movement

by: Thaddeus

I had the Sleeve surgery on 1/27 and I haven't had a bowel movement in 7 days now granted I haven't been eating normally since the surgery and I was thinking that my body may be in some sort of shock right now.Is this normal not having a bowel movement for 7 days. What can I do? I am currently on a puree diet for two weeks

Reply to "Burping, Hungry & No Bowel Movements After Gastric Sleeve"

by: Rachel

Hi there! First, let me say that I am not a doctor, but I am a recent Gastric Sleeve recipient myself, so my comment will be based on my experience, and the experiences of friends I know who've had the same.

It seems like it took forever for me to quit burping all the time. When you have your surgery laparoscopically, which it sounds like you did, the surgeons pump your stomach full of air, and some of it hangs around for a long time. I used the Gas-X strips for the first several weeks to help with the excessive gas still plaguing me.

As far as bowel movements, consider this: you can't really "eat" anything for the first two to three weeks (sometimes longer depending on your surgeon) so there isn't much in your intestines to need to be gotten rid of. It was a good two to three weeks for me. Also, if you are still taking painkillers (like Hydrocodone) they can cause you to be constipated as a side effect. If your surgery was in 2014 (and my answer is only about three weeks out) and you are still having trouble, I drank Metamucil to help.

Now the hunger issue: I can't say anything about the medical side, but I still get hungry. I tend to burp a lot when I am hungry. I still had an appetite after surgery (I'm afraid I didn't know there were two different size rods to use, so I can't relate on that), but I wasn't hungry for the first week and a half or about. But since I've been on solid foods, I get hungry regularly. I end up eating about six small meals a day on average, because I'm hungry and water or tea or juice (or whatever isn't carbonated) just doesn't cut it. That first couple of weeks before I could eat solid foods was awful! :) I have found that I'm not the kind of hungry that I would have been before surgery, and definitely satisfied quicker with much less food. My opinion on this issue is that, like with many things concerning hormones, it may be taking some time for your body to settle itself out. But, again, I'm not a doctor, just a patient.

I hope this has helped (and if it's a year or more too late, I hope it helps someone else!). At least I hope I've reassured you that you're not alone. Every person has a different experience with their surgeries. This will be worth it, and I say that confidently six months and 80 pounds after my own surgery!

Best wishes!

Need help

by: Tinky

I just had my surgery on June 29,2016 and yet I have only lost 45lds?. I've not have any bowel movements. I'm scared to keep putting anything in because I'm not putting anything out. Please help! The doctor told me to increase my water and I did and still nothing. I'm taking Miralax and M.O.M and nothing seems to work. What am I to do cause I'm not losing any weight and I'm starting to be in constant pain?

Was feeling hunger then the hunger stopped

by: Chan

I was feeling hunger right after my sleeve surgery and I was nervous because I was told I wouldn't be hungry or thirsty. Well on the 5th day after my operation I was allowed to go to full liquids so I ate tomato soup... After I ate the tomato soup the hunger just stopped and I wasn't thirsty.

The very next day I had 2 bowel movements.

I think being on just clear liquids wasn't enough but the full liquids (tomato soup) was what I needed.

I remembered being so freaked out because I seriously didn't feel hungry and I did a 1 mile walk and all I can get in is barely 500 calories a day.

I was 7 pounds down 5 days after surgery and I was still bloated from all the iv liquids. After u start introducing more foods the hunger will go away.

hard to burp!

by: vega

I recently had the gastric sleeve on August 3rd, 2016 and when I'm eating it feels like I have a giant gas bubble! It happens no matter how slow I eat and it's so hard for me to burp! I try to burp, I'll pat myself on the chest but that doesn't even help. I try to swallow a little air to see if that helps and it seems to a little but it's annoying and painful to not just be able to burp.

no steady bowel movement

by: Bishoy

I was 400 pounds, then went down to 310, went back up to 340 and am currently at 315. Now I am not losing any weight at all. Also, I have no bowel movements until I eat protein bar or something else that is protein rich. I feel like my stomach needs to be fueled by protein every few hours. Any advice regarding bowel movement and how can I proceed to lose more weight?

I'm hungry too

by: Agape

I just had gastric sleeve surgery 1 week ago and I'm also really hungry. I talked to my surgeon about it and he said it's head hunger, but I totally disagree. I know the difference between head hunger and physical hunger. I'm miserable. I just want to eat!!!

Burping & hunger


I had gastric sleeve surgery October 17, 2016 and I had burping and acid so bad for the first couple of months that it was to the point of making me feel sick constantly and would cause me to dry heave until I would bring up bile. This made my drinking almost impossible so I eventually ended up hospitalized for 1 week mid-November to be re-hydrated. Therefore, I am now only starting to actually be able to consume much of anything and really never felt hungry. In fact, since surgery I don't think I have ever felt hungry at all.

The burping has gotten somewhat better but my family doctor had to increase my dose of Nexium (acid reducer) to help with that issue. I do find that if I do not consume enough water my acid can build up worse.

Not sure if that helps at all but stick in there I know it seems like it will never get any better.

My experience

by: Gabe

I just had my gastric sleeve done May 3rd, 2017. So far so good. Down 20 pounds in only 4 days!!!!!! I'm not hungry, only thirsty. Recovery the first 2 days after was the worst. But now it seems every day is getting better! I'm still on clear liquids, but everything seems to be going smoothly!

Best of luck to everyone!

Sick and Tired of Burping

by: Brenda

Omg, I burp all of the time and I’m sick to my stomach all of the time…… My tummy is totally upset with me. I had a sleeve done on 5/30/2017 and a hernia repaired.

Will this pass or is this just going to be this way forever? How can I reduce the burping and upset tummy? I do take acid reducer 2 times a day. Eating and drinking has become a chore now, ugh!

You're not alone

by: Laura

I just had my surgery on 8/4/17 and man I hated life for the first week. I had gases, tightness of the chest, no bowel movements and I was bloated. I started looking online and found people used Gas X (it helped).

I now have some BM, bloating is down and tightness is gone. I'm still a bit tender from where they do most of the work but it's slowly going away. I am hungry though but I truly think it's a process. I don't know how much I've lost since surgery I see my surgeon on the 16th. I lost 30lbs just on the two week pre op all liquid diet so I'm hoping I've lost some weight.

Oh walking helps --- walk walk and walk - take small sips

Anyone one want to keep in touch - add me on Snapchat (iamuneeq) or IG @UneeQ_

Good luck everyone! Remember WE CAN DO IT!

Question for Laura

by: Leana


Everything you are saying sounds like what I'm going through exactly,

I don't have Instagram or Snapchat only Facebook maybe we can talk I have some questions.

Leana Paynter on Facebook
Or email:

I have Facebook too :)

by: Laura

Hi Leana,

I actually sent you a message on FB. What a few days can do - my bloating is gone, tightness of chest is gone, and my pain is almost 100% gone too. I still burp a lot and my BM are off but I'm hoping with time that will change and regulate.

I can't believe I didn't include my Facebook - anyone can contact me here

post op laparoscopic sleeve with hiatal hernia

by: susan lee

I had my surgery 6 days ago, I was having the chest pain so bad I could not drink anything. I had to call my surgeon today and I was on omeprozale for the heart burn and today it was changed I already feel better.

But I feel you on the hunger!!!! I am so HUNGRY!!!!

Need relief

by: Skye s

Had my surgery on Tuesday May 1 2018. I don't feel hungry but I would like to poop. I gotta call my doctor.


by: Lulu

OMG ,HUNGRY... before the sleeve I would maybe get hungry 1 time a day and never really thought about food since I stayed busy at work..Now I'm hungry all day and all night..I stay feeling like whatever I drink wants to come up.

Its like one sip of water feels like I'm swallowing a bunch of air and does not feel right. Im hoping with time this goes away. Im still on liquid diet.

I lost 18 pounds in the first 10 days but dang its because I could not hold anything down and I have not had to go #2 in 10 day - not a good feeling. I will say I was not told before the surgery that for the rest of your life you would need to drink water every 15 minutes.

I feel water bloated all day, like too much water.


by: Tameka Swan

It does eventually go away I'm 5 years 7 months out (Yes I count) as a matter of fact just so you know with your new stomach you will become a bit of a picky eater things you may have liked before you may not like now. For my constipation I take a probotics I notice stool softeners help but not long term. Water is still a little hard for me to get down but I add a little to my protein shakes as well and this helps.

Don't worry you'll soon feel better.

not urinating

by: Diana

Hi, I've had my gastric sleeve now 3 weeks but have now noticed I only urinate 2x for the whole day.

Should i be worried? Did this happen to anyone else? I drink slush puppies to help quench my thirst.






What a relief!

by: Stephanie

Well, I am glad to see that I am not alone. I had the gastric sleeve done on July 9, 2018. I came here looking for info because I do not poop! Since my surgery, almost 3 weeks ago, I have only gone 3 times!. This is frightening, uncomfortable, and frustrating.

I've been drinking Miralax, tried liquid colace, and drink lots of water. But, I am still very constipated. I see that this is very common... that sucks!

I'm going to ask the surgeon about adding a probiotic. Any other advice would be great, but at least I have some relief that this is a common issue and not something that I have to be overly concerned about.

Thanks everyone, and good luck with your weight loss!

For Diana & Stephanie

by: Laura

Hi ladies,

I’m almost a year out - at first I didn’t go to the restroom often. It does get better. Weirdly enough plain water still hurts a bit when I intake it but not like before.

Take small sips of liquid - avoid sugary things - trust me they aren’t not our friends.

Diana you’re only 3 weeks out so things are still adjusting.

Stephanie probiotics have been my lifesaver - the ones I take are pricey but they help me use the restroom.


by: Nurse

Hope your drinking lots of water. If not, that could be the problem.

The hunger will pass in about 3 weeks.

Hang in there and focus on the weight loss and exercise.

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