How to Stop Weight Loss After Weight Loss Surgery Goal Weight is Reached

Question Below Submitted By:  

Joseph (a patient from SF, CA, USA)

Hi Bariatric Surgery Source,

Your articles talk about life after bariatric surgery and additional steps to take to reduce one’s weight to his or her’s desired goals.

However, I do not understand what happens after that goal is met. Is it easy to maintain that weight or would that individual need to have disciplined increase eating to counteract the reduced calories absorbed due to the permanent effects of the surgery?

I am thinking about a friend who began at 410 lbs and has tried many treatments for weight loss with the latest being a year-long controlled liquid diet. He is still 50 lbs away from this 180 lbs goal.

However, there are studies that show even with effective dieting many returns to their original weight within 5 years of meeting their goal. If he were to undergo gastric bypass surgery and obtain his 180 lbs goal, what would his life be like after meeting the goal?



Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon response to "How to Stop Weight Loss After Weight Loss Surgery Goal Weight is Reached"

by: John Rabkin, MD


After weight loss surgery (WLS), the body tends to accommodate to a new healthier baseline weight.

With the exception of the calorie malabsorptive procedures (ie: duodenal switch, biliopancreatic diversion, etc.), excess weight loss following WLS is not an issue.

IF a patient feels as if they're losing too much weight or wants to stabilize their weight, all a patient does to stabilize their weight is to eat more: greater quantitiies of and more frequent meals of higher calorie foods.

Occasionally with calorie malabsorptive procedures (where it is possible to lose too much weight) revisional surgery may (rarely) be necessary.

However, even with calorie malabsorptive procedures most often the above outlined approach with or without the addition of pancreatic enzymes with the food will address the issue until the patient's body accommodates to the new anatomy and their weight stabilizes at a healthy weight.

I should also point out that every patient's journey is different! While the majority of patients after WLS maintain at least some of the weight that they've lost and while many do not experience significant weight regain, some patients do experience weight regain years after WLS.

The type of WLS that a patient undergoes (restrictive procedures versus calorie malabsorptive procedures) as well as post WLS lifestyle choices definitely have a bearing on the weight regain experience of patients: patients who 'work at it' are much more likely to enjoy a durable weight loss.

Your friend who has been successful in losing a significant amount of weight through dieting should be commended for his efforts and success. Should he choose to undergo WLS that history will work in his favor!

John Rabkin,
M.D. Pacific Laparoscopy

(click here for Dr. Rabkin'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.

Related Page:
- Bariatric Treatment: 7 Steps to Determine Whether It's Right for You

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