Four Truths About Weight Regain After Weight Loss Surgery
Nobody undergoes weight loss surgery thinking weight regain will happen to them. But statistics indicate that 80 percent of those who undergo gastric bypass, gastric banding, or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery will at some point regain some of the weight they lost initially with the surgery. Learn four truths about weight gain after weight loss surgery.
5 Day Pouch Test Store

By Kaye Bailey

I was born with the disease obesity and by the time I was out of college it had advanced to morbid obesity. At age 33 my disease was treated with gastric bypass surgery which affected a loss of weight that put my disease, morbid obesity, in remission. Three years later I suffered a relapse of my disease with a weight gain of 20 pounds. Through dietary and lifestyle compliance, much like a person with heart disease who suffers a relapse, I was able to put my disease, obesity, back in remission. I will always have the disease of morbid obesity and am fortunate that I was able, at a young age, to be treated with the best medically available option.

The Facts:

  • Obesity is a disease.
  • Weight loss puts the disease in remission.
  • Weight gain puts the disease in relapse.
  • Like most diseases, victims of obesity are responsible to make dietary and lifestyle changes that work with medical treatment to keep our disease in remission.
  • Like most diseases, relapses occur, obesity manifests relapse in weight gain.
  • We are not the disease, we have the disease.
  • My Four Truths:
    Regain Is Likely: It is generally believed that 80% of people who undergo weight loss surgery (WLS) will experience weight gain (relapse) of 10-30 pounds depending upon initial weight loss. It is further believed that 20% of those will relapse to their former weight and possibly gain more as the disease of morbid obesity advances. This relapse can be the result of failed gastric surgery (the surgery was improperly performed or medical device failure); a non-compliant patient who does not evolve their eating and exercise habits; the active intestine becoming more efficient at absorbing calories; and potential stomach pouch stretch. Dr. Anita Courcoulas, chief of minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said, "Regaining weight down the road is a common phenomenon for weight loss patients. These patients need to be educated and prepared for it if it happens."

    100% Conviction: It is my experience that 100% of patients who take to the operating table for the treatment of their disease say, "I'm not going to be one of those people who gain weight after surgery." You can bet the farm I said that - and imagine my embarrassment and shame when I did in fact become one of those people. At the time I didn't understand my disease had relapsed, in part because I had relaxed my newly evolved eating and exercise habits, but also because my body has a disease that wants to store excess fat. I thought I gained weight because I was a failure at surgery.

    I failed AGAIN! I am not alone in my feelings of failure over weight regain. Dr. Courcoulas said, "These are people who feel that they have failed at everything they tried in their lives. If they feel that they are failing surgery, they're embarrassed and they don't want to come back for help." How sad for us. When a cancer patient suffers a relapse do they take it as a personal failure? I sure hope not. Popular media perpetuates the belief that weight gain equals failure. WLS celebrities are splashed across mainstream media and tabloids alike for weight regain. But the celebrity with cancer who suffers relapse? Charity benefits are hosted bearing their name and their bravery is lauded. With a relapse in obesity the celebrity becomes the brunt of jokes for late night comedians. No wonder we don't want to become one of those people but statistics are not on our side

    I Am Not Obese. Since kindergarten the word "fat" defined me and I actually thought that was who I was because "You are fat" and "I am fat" were constant phrases in my world. By about age 40 I finally figured out that I am not fat. I have obesity, a disease. Have you heard a heart attack patient say, "I am heart disease" or a leukemia patient say, "I am cancer"? We are not the disease! We have a disease that is part of the whole person that makes us the wonderfully unique and powerful person we are.

    • Relapse to Remission: Just like other diseases, obesity relapse can be put into remission. There is hope! As noted above there are (at least) four reasons for relapse including: failed gastric surgery; a non-compliant patient who does not evolve their eating and exercise habits; the active intestine becoming more efficient at absorbing calories; and potential stomach pouch stretch. Keeping in mind that statistically weight regain is likely, that you are not a failure, and that you are not the disease, you can pragmatically go about mapping a plan to fight your relapse.

      Seek medical help and treatment: you are fighting a killer disease
      Assess your eating and exercise evolution and return to the lifestyle prescribed at the time of surgery
      Educate yourself on nutrition, physical and spiritual health so they may work in harmony to heal your body
      Seek support, family, friends, community, and fellow patients to help maintain your personal motivation
      Educate others to stop the ignorance and blame and promote the understanding of this illness we are fighting.

    Articles by Kaye Bailey

    Weight Regain
    Four Truths About Weight Gain after Weight Loss Surgery
    What Your Bariatric Surgeon Forgot to Tell You That Will Cause Weight Gain
    Three Red Flag Warnings Leading to Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery
    Slider Foods Spell Weight Regain for Weight Loss Surgery Patients

    Four Rules, Slider Foods, Liquid Restrictions
    Rule 1: Protein First:
    High Protein Diet Promotes Fat Loss for Weight Loss Surgery Patients
    Five High Protein Meals Portable Meals for Weight Loss Surgery Patients
    Budget Tips for Eating Healthy After Weight Loss Surgery

    Rule 2: Lots of Water:

    Rule 3: No Snacking:
    How to Eat Popcorn After Weight Loss Surgery

    Rule 4: Daily Exercise:

    Slider Foods:
    Slider Foods Spell Weight Regain for Weight Loss Surgery Patients

    Liquid Restrictions:
    Understanding the Liquid Restrictions of Weight Loss Surgery
    Restrict Liquids, Drink Lots of Water - HUH? Making Sense of WLS Guidelines

    Dumping Syndrome, Gas & Bloating, & Other Complications
    Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome - Three Foods that Cause It
    Considering Weight Loss Surgery? Learn About Dumping Syndrome First
    Reduce Offensive Flatulence After Weight Loss Surgery
    Soothe Stomach Discomfort with Ginger & Spinach Soup
    Headaches - Three Effective Herbal Remedies
    Headaches with the Weight Loss Surgery High Protein Diet

    General Topics
    Medical Tourism - What to Know Before Traveling for Weight Loss Surgery

    Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

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    Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch TestDay 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test
    by Kaye Bailey
    Kaye Bailey's follow-up to her powerful 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual, which has helped countelss thousands get back on track with their weight loss surgery. In Ms. Bailey's generous spirit of compassion and belief in others she shares her secrets for working with the surgical weight loss tool, not against it, to achieve optimum success and long-term weight maintenance. No gimmicks. No quick fixes. Just simple common sense delivered in the powerful "you can do this" style we have come to expect from Ms. Bailey.

    In Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test Ms. Bailey invites readers to consider their relationship with the word diet as she introduces a revolutionary new concept for nurturing a strong and reasonable respect for food.

    Day 6 is the way-of-life weight loss surgery patients will follow if they want to control their weight for the rest of their lives.


    "This is the book I wish I had read before having surgery in the first place - it would have made all the difference in my success or failure."
    -- Alyce Pittaway, Laparoscopic GastricBypass 2002

    Sale Price: $25.95
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