Weight regain after bariatric surgery
Written by Julia Jurgensen, a Mayo Clinic nurse practitioner
If you have had bariatric surgery, one of the concerns you may have is weight regain. Weight regain typically starts between 12-18 months after surgery. Weight regain can happen for a variety of reasons, so it is critical that patients continue to follow with his or her bariatric surgery team after surgery long term to help manage weight after surgery.
Most patients are diligent to the recommended diet and exercise regimen during the first year after surgery. But as patients can tolerate a larger variety of foods, it is common to start eating higher calories and exercise less. This combination slows down weight loss and can lead to weight gain.
But there is still hope, here are some tips to avoid weight gain after surgery:
- Recognize that obesity is a chronic health condition and your body is designed to regain weight.
- Schedule regular appointments with your bariatric team as they are equipped to help you avoid weight regain and/or assist you to lose weight if you do regain weight after surgery.
- Follow the dietary plan given to you after bariatric surgery and follow up with a dietitian if you need assistance.
- Avoid snacking, as this leads to extra calories in your diet and often does not allow you to feel full.
- Seek support from a bariatric surgery support group that is lead by a bariatric surgery team member for additional support.
- Consider one-on-one regular support from your bariatric team members on a regular basis to assist with weight gain.
- Continue to exercise regularly to support your weight loss and maintenance efforts.
It is also important to remember that surgery is not a magic wand rather it is a tool to support your weight loss journey. There are other tools that can be utilized as well including weight loss medications and endoscopic procedures to assist with weight loss after post-bariatric surgery weight regain.
If you have experienced weight regain after bariatric surgery, consider reaching out to your bariatric surgery team or the team at Mayo Clinic at 1-507-284-1600 for support and determining next steps.
Connect with others talking about weight regain in the Healthy Living support group.