After gastric sleeve surgery, an intense diet and basic lifestyle changes await you. After the surgical process, your stomach, which was reduced, creates a calorie deficit by creating a feeling of satiety in a shorter time. In addition, the smaller stomach volume prevents patients from eating as much as before. This brings about a serious concern for most bariatric patients:
What if, due to any reason, my stomach stretches after gastric sleeve surgery? Will I regain weight? However, people should pay attention to the amount and type of food they consume.
Will My Stomach Grow Back after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Unfortunately, is possible for the stomach to grow back to its original shape. But, this situation mostly occurs to people who have not been able to quit their past unhealthy eating habits. Let’s have a review of the causes of stomach stretch after gastric sleeve procedure and how to prevent it.
Causes of Stomach Enlargement After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- After vertical sleeve gastrectomy, if you don’t eat in small bites and drink in small sips, your stomach will stretch for sure.
- Exceeding your portions is the biggest factor that will make your stomach grow. You should definitely consume your food by portion control.
- Your dietitian will advise you to eat limited portions of food for each meal. If you exceed this limit, there’s a high probability of vomit and nausea. But some patients do not confront these complications, so they keep eating more and more? Then, what’s the result? A bigger stomach!
- Going back to your old eating habits is one of the most common reasons for stomach growth after bariatric surgery. You should take care of yourself especially when you are upset and in more risk of nervous eating.
- Not staying away from high-calorie food definitely leaves you with a bigger stomach.
What Happens If My Stomach Grows after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Stomach enlargement is not something you can feel pretty easily, but fortunately, there are some signs that will alarm you. Once you see even one of them, you should take living healthily more seriously. When your stomach grows again ;
- You start to gain weight and you can see that the excess weight you lost is returning again.
- You start consuming more food and your hunger increases.
- Your stomach may even get big enough to go back to its previous state. In this case, you will be back to where you started…
If you notice that your stomach is getting bigger, you should talk to your doctor. There are a number of solutions that will stop your weight gain.
How to Prevent Your stomach from Growing after Gastric Sleeve
If you do not want your stomach to grow back after bariatric surgery, these are the points you should consider:
- First of all, you should stick to your bariatric surgeon’s advice and the nutrition program they provided you with.
- In the first week after surgery, your stomach will be swollen and you cannot drink more than 40 grams, even if you want to. Stick to this amount and try not to exceed it for 2 weeks.
- Be careful not to overcook your meals and mix them at the same time. After your surgery, you will pass into the period of consuming creamy soups and blenders. During this period, consume all your foods separately.
- After pureed foods, you will reach a level where you can eat partially solid foods. Cut your food into small pieces during this period. Grate all your food into a separate bowl and don’t forget to measure portions.
- It is extremely important that you do not combine solid food intake and fluids. If you are eating both solids and liquids, consume liquid foods first. Then wait at least half an hour and then switch to solid foods.
- Remember to consume liquids and solids separately each time. Your stomach is already extremely sensitive and cannot perform two digestions at once. Consuming these products together will cause your stomach to grow.
- Cross out your old rule of thumb, eat less food but more times per day. Your final goal should be to eat at least 5-6 times a day and in small portions. Thus, you will be full without any increase in your stomach size.
- Do not think eating just a bit more of your limits is OK, it won’t do any harm. Do not forget that you did this surgery to lose weight and all the difficulties you overcame. You do not want to experience that process again.
Physical Activity to Prevent Stomach Growth After Bariatric Surgery
If you do not want your stomach to stretch after bariatric surgery, you should pay attention to your physical activity as well. In addition to your diet, exercising regularly will both accelerate your weight loss and prevent you from having a bigger size stomach.
The most important thing you need to pay attention to in order not to experience stomach stretching again is to quit your old habits. You should remove all the factors that affect your diet negatively from your life. But this is not enough.
You should base yourself on a new healthy life. Your diet, exercise, and more should be done for a healthy life. You need to change your perspective on life and renew yourself. It is extremely important that you be consistent in this regard.
How to Correct Stomach Growth
The most basic method for revising a stretched stomach after gastric sleeve is gastric resection, a new stomach reduction procedure applied to people who have previously performed weight loss surgery.
In this procedure, the stomach is pulled in 3 cm according to the width and structure of the probe by adapting along the smaller curvature of the stomach. The newly shrunk stomach is now suitable for fast saturation and less food consumption.
Gastric Resection Advantages
- With this method, the continuity of the digestive system is preserved and the person’s loss of absorption is prevented.
- If it is performed with good equipment and is extremely safe and simple.
- The patient can stand up and is discharged from the hospital 2 to 3 days after the completion of the surgery.
- Since it is applied as a second surgery, it does not have a compelling effect on the person. Its main purpose is to restore the effect of sleeve gastrectomy surgery.
- If it is noticed that the size created as a result of the operation is not suitable for the person, it can be rearranged. With a combined operation, the size will be as it should be.
- This method is effective and ensures the removal of excess weight regained after the first surgery.
- It helps to remove the new zone produced by Ghrelin, which contributes to rapid saturation.
- It does not greatly affect your eating. However, you still need to move away from your old nutrition program. Your quality of life will not decrease much after the surgery and you will not feel the desire to eat too much again.
But why go for a second surgery when you can prevent it in the very first place? You should try not to enlarge or stretch the size of your stomach after the surgery by following your surgeon and dietitian’s advice. If you can’t do this, the rules you need to pay attention to will not change after the second surgery, and not following them again will result in your stomach enlargement.
Points to Consider after Gastric Resection Surgery
- You are allowed to drink water in small sips on the first day. You should drink as much water as you can, albeit slowly, and don’t force yourself.
- A nasogastric tube will be inserted into your stomach for calibration. This tube is usually removed within 1-2 days. All your checks will be done by your doctor. You should have no doubts about this.
- After this step, you should adopt a healthy life in order not to face the problem of weight regain because these procedures cannot be performed over and over again.
- After this surgical procedure, your doctor will want to make sure that you will follow your diet and adapt to your new life. For this, he will repeatedly interview you and check you during regular follow-ups.
- Follow your diet program and talk to your doctor if you have any questions. Your doctor will allow you to make changes and adapt when necessary. Do not make any changes yourself.
What are the Disadvantages of Gastric Resection?
Like every bariatric surgery method, gastric resection has certain disadvantages.
- There will be anatomical and physiological changes due to the reshaping of the stomach.
- The possibility of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is inevitable in most cases.
After sleeve gastrectomy, your stomach will grow if you do not follow your doctors’ orders and return to your old lifestyle. It’s all about your self-esteem. However, if you change your mind after stretching your stomach and are willing to lose weight again, a second surgery is possible.