Gastric Pouch Emptying Too Fast & Gaining Weight Back

Question Below Submitted By:  

Barbara E. (a patient from Ovid, Mi.)

I am 17 yrs. out from my gastric bypass surgery. I started at 306 lbs (139 kgs) and got down to 175 lbs (79 kgs). I have been gaining weight over the past year and have gained 20 lbs (9 kgs) back.

I had a laparoscopic procedure to have my pouch checked 6 months ago and was told the pouch is fine but the outlet has stretched and there was nothing that could be done about it. I am hungry all the time so assume that is why I am gaining back.

Is there a procedure for this?

I had my surgery done at the Bariatric Treatment Center in Michigan and any time I have called them for help they tell me to go to my family doctor. They have been no help at all since I had my surgery.

I did go to a different bariatric doctor. for the laparoscopic procedure who told me there was nothing to be done for the stretched outlet but he quit the practice soon after I saw him.

Is there anything that can be done for my problem? I am extremely afraid of gaining all my weight back. The 20 lbs is bad enough.

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Expert Responses to the Question Above

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi Barbara E.,

You are not alone in this situation. Sounds like you have been very successful with your surgery! Congrats!

It is normal to regain 5-20 pounds or at least fluctuate some after 3 years. Most people who gain weight, and keep gaining weight are "grazing" on high carbohydrate foods. Meaning they are cheating the pouch.

If you have had an upper endoscopy that shows your connection between your pouch and small bowel has dilated, then that connection can be tightened by a bariatric surgeon. We do this laparoscopically, and patients usually will lose the amount of weight they have regained, but not additional weight.

We call this a revision of the gastric bypass. The bummer is that insurance companies will not pay for it unless patients have regained enough weight to meet the criteria of the original surgery. If a patient has documented dilated connection, and is able to pay for it out of pocket, we know we can help, and therefore, would perform the surgery.... I hope that has helped.

Take care,
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.

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