Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Can the Stomach Grow Back After Having Gastric Sleeve Surgery? 

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
October 21, 2021
Can the Stomach Grow Back After Having Gastric Sleeve Surgery? 

There is a lot of information available about the benefits and challenges of gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss. Some benefits include weight loss, improved overall health, and lifestyle changes for the better. One challenge that you may have heard about is the possibility of the stomach growing back after surgery. Some may wonder: can the stomach grow back after surgery? If so, how does that happen and what are the chances that it will? If you have concerns or questions about gastric sleeve surgery, this article will provide some information that you need. 

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Weight loss is a challenging ongoing journey, and some may consider weight loss surgery as an option. There are a few different types of weight loss surgeries including the duodenal switch, the gastric band, gastric bypass, and the gastric sleeve.  Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as laparoscopic vertical gastrectomy, is a procedure in which a large portion of the stomach is surgically separated and removed from the body. After removing a portion of the stomach, the surgeon stitches the remaining stomach together to make a new stomach. The patient cannot consume as much food and the smaller stomach produces less stomach hormone that makes people feel hungry. Some concerns with having weight loss surgery are the risk of the stomach growing back or gaining weight back.  

Can the Stomach Grow Back After Having Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Weight gain can come from the act of overeating. If someone overeats, the stomach can expand to consume the excess food. Patients undergoing gastric sleeve surgery should take this into consideration. Anytime you eat food, your stomach will do its job and expand. However, if you eat past the level of fullness consistently, you risk stretching your stomach past the size that it was right after surgery. 

Stretching the stomach can also confuse the brain about when it’s time to eat or when it’s full. For example, if your stomach is stretched past its normal size, your brain believes that you need more food to be full. Or after eating to fullness and digesting a portion of the food, your brain could believe that the body needs more food because the stomach is not full anymore. 

Stretching of the stomach happens when you eat large meals over and over again. If you overeat during occasional holidays or festivities, this may not be a problem. But if this occurs more often, stomach stretching is more likely to happen. For example, eating a large breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for a few weeks can cause your stomach to stretch. The actual stretching of the stomach is not what makes you gain weight; It’s the risk of altering the fullness gauge that causes you to overeat past your body’s level of full. 

How to Prevent Stretching?

Some tips to prevent you from stretching your stomach after gastric sleeve surgery include:

  • Paying attention to the amount of food you are consuming. Some focus too heavily on the type of food they eat, like sweets and sugar, but eating large healthy meals very often is riskier than consuming a small treat every once in a while. 
  • Try not to eat and drink at the same time. Drink an hour or so before consuming food to help reduce stomach stretching.
  • If you feel hungry often, eat small meals throughout the day to control your hunger and prevent binge eating that can lead to stomach stretching. 

For more information  

To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and how it works, call Bass Bariatric Surgery Center today at 925-281-3711. You can request a consultation from a doctor specializing in weight loss.

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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