Gained Back 40 Pounds in 8 Years Since Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Question Below Submitted By:  

Lynne (a patient from Livermore Falls,Maine)

I had a gastric sleeve procedure in 2005. I went from 275 to 120 pounds and felt fantastic. It was effortless as I had to remind myself to eat, was never hungry, and was completely thrilled with the loss.

I think I became distracted, stopped paying attention to WHAT I was eating, and started to gain.

The first 10-15 pounds did not concern me as I am almost 60 years old and I did not feel the need to maintain my high school weight of 120.

Now I am up to 169 and feel AWFUL. My clothes do not fit, my knees are bothering me, and I am depressed. I went on a diet, 500-800 calories a day for about 1 month and lost 4 pounds initially, then nothing (everyone tells me this is not enough, but remember, before the gastric sleeve, I had tried every kind of sensible diet there was unsuccessfully).

It seems that I am once again not able to lose weight. I DO NOT CHEAT. I cannot walk (knees), and I did buy a stationary bike, that too hurts my knees. Thyroid is not an issue. My father, mother, and 3 of my four children all have to fight their weight gain tendencies.

After my surgery, I lived on yogurt, salads, and soup for several years. Rarely ate anything else.

After several years passed, I became complacent. I did start eating cream, crunchy foods like crackers and, yes, chips. It was always in small amounts and to this day I use a saucer as a dinner plate.

I do not snack anymore. Weight will not come off…any advice??

Bariatric Surgery Source

Expert Responses to the Question Above

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi Lynne,

Congratulations on your successful weightloss after your sleeve surgery in 2005.

It certainly is not uncommon to regain a small percentage of what you have lost.....usually , about 10-15, if you lost 150 pounds, then regaining about 20 pounds is within the norm.

But, you have gained a bit more than that, and it sounds like you know have been "grazing" on the wrong kinds of food....most notably, sugars, or carbohydrates. This is by far, the most common reason patients regain weight! And, normal to feel down and depressed.

Couple of thoughts.....follow up with your surgeon if possible....get back on track with your nutrition....80 grams of protein/day....very low carb, low fat diet....go to a local support group if available....or see a bariatric dietician.

Finally, still are down about 100 pounds from your original weight! You still are a much healthier person now than you were.

Good Luck,
Troy LaMar MD

los angeles bariatric surgeon

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

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.


Patient Responses to the Question Above

There might be a reason behind the choices you made that caused the gain.

by: Nancy

I recently consulted a psychologist in regard to my concerns about having the sleeve.

One thing he said to me might help you.

He said that weight gain is not generally only about bad food choices, there is a reason that a person might begin to go back to old habits after the surgery (we were discussing how so many people I had met with the surgery regained weight).

He said that no one became morbidly obese in the first place just due to the food, it was why they choose those foods as comfort and pleasure over something else.

He said that he had patients that would come back to him because they found that they were putting on weight again, and together they would try to find out if there was an emotional or psychological reason for the change in eating patterns and weight gain.

I am not suggesting or even assuming that you must have psychological problems behind your gain, maybe you just like chips and other foods that are high calorie over the right choices.

But if there is even a slight chance that your eating choices are being driven by some emotional issues in your life, (depression, anger, anxiety, etc.) or because of something else going on that creates stress, you might want to seek short term counseling to see if that changes things.

You have done so well, and I wish you well.

If nothing else works, go back to where you began with your food choices, protein shakes, high protein, and no snacking between meals.

I understand about the exercise, I can't easily do it either with two bone on bone knees.

Good luck!

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