|This photo borrowed. Please visit: http://www.njbariatricspc.com/bariatric-surgery-types/gastric-bypass-surgery-nj/|
Most people believe that if you gain weight after you have had gastric bypass surgery, it is because you have stretched your stomach back out to it's old or "normal" size, thereby allowing you to eat more. Most likely, however, you are either eating (grazing) too often throughout the day, or your stoma may have enlarged, which allows the food to just slide on through without spending much time in your pouch.
From an article about understanding your pouch:
Our pouches will GROW over time. Yes, it's a living organ and your body tries to compensate for the rearranging we did to it during bariatric surgery and it will grow to help get in as much nutrition as possible. A mature pouch is anywhere from 6 ounces to 9 ounces in size... and can naturally stretch to hold up to 12 ounces of food at a time. A pouch reaches maturity at about the 2-year mark. By 6 months after RNY gastric bypass surgery your pouch has grown to about 2/3 of it's maturity level. Once you are a year out, your pouch is no longer 1 ounce in size ... it's more like 3 ounces or 4 ounces and can hold 6 to 8 ounces of food.
Studies have shown that the size of your pouch has very little to do with your overall success with weight loss. Your success has more to do with how well you follow your eating and exercise plan and how well you follow the "rules of the pouch."
Click HERE for some pouch rules. Worried that your pouch has grown too much? Click HERE for the cottage cheese test. (I am now 9 years out...about two years ago, I did the cottage cheese test and found that my pouch was about eight ounces.) For the fun of it, here's the link to a study called Pouch Rules For Dummies.
What happens if the stoma, the opening at the bottom of your pouch, enlarges, allowing your food to slide through faster, and leaving you hungry sooner? I see ads all the time for gastric bypass revisions. Often, those are fixes for an enlarged stoma (they generally aren't re-cutting your pouch to be smaller again). A potential non-surgical option is listed HERE. For an article about surgical revisions, click HERE. For information about the non-surgical ROSE procedure, click HERE.
The purpose of this post isn't to list EVERY option available but to make everyone aware that weight gain can and does happen, that it isn't always "your fault," and that there is help available if you fall into certain categories. For the most part, for those of us dealing with weight gain, we may have fallen back into old habits, or are dealing with health issues that make our metabolism slow down. I certainly know why I have gained weight. I am sensitive to medications, which affects my metabolism (meaning, I need to eat fewer calories to make up for it), and I am an all-day grazer, who uses food to deal with my emotions (meaning, I need more therapy). Do you feel like your pouch may have stretched too much or maybe your stoma is enlarged? And, have you figured out what makes you over-eat? Tell me how you're doing and, if you've run into problems, how you're going about making them better!