Weight Regain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery. Help!

by RM Mason


I had the gastric sleeve surgery 2 years ago this March.

First year, dropped weight like a rock. It was fantastic. I kept to the diet and exercise instructions my doc gave me and just about every time I jumped on the scale my weight dropped.

But then, I fell off the wagon. Not literally, but almost : )

Biking became my go-to exercise. SO much fun! Until my tire blew up on some glass and I went over my handlebars that is. I was bedridden for weeks and I regained a bunch of the weight I lost after the sleeve.

My doc just cleared me to full health from the bike accident. But, I feel like I have to start over this weight loss process, which is just honestly kinda discouraging.

So, I was hoping for some strategies to jump start this process over again. Should I try and “reset” with a liquid diet for a while? Any kind of exercises I should focus on? I’m honestly a little scared of my bike now (jeez, did that pavement hurt), any suggestions for another good form of exercise that’s like biking?

Thanks so much! Good luck to everyone going through this!!

– RM Mason

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Surgeon Response to "Weight Regain After Gastric Sleeve Surgery. Help!"

by: John Rabkin, M.D., Pacific Laparoscopy

Dear RM Mason,

The best way to ‘re-lose’ the weight that you regained after your bicycling accident is to make the best use of the newest weight loss ‘tool’ that you have, the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) that you underwent, but to remember that the weight loss surgery that you have is only one ‘tool’ in your ‘armamentarium. You can and should still use all of the other ‘tools’ to help you lose weight that you used before undergoing the VSG. This would include trying as best you can to limit your caloric intake (‘calorie counting’), use of a food diary, avoidance of snacking on foods with substantial calories, etc.

In addition to decreasing your overall sense of hunger, the VSG works best by helping you with portion control: you feel satisfied by eating substantially smaller amounts of food which more quickly fills your reduced stomach capacity and, therefore, you consume fewer calories. Consequently, I would avoid liquid calories of any kind (including liquid diets and protein shakes) as these tend to empty from your gastric sleeve more quickly than solid food and, as a result, decreases the sense of satiety that you’ll experience.from a given amount of calories consumed.

Lastly, exercise is important in achieving your weight loss goals. If ‘getting back in the saddle’ no longer suits you after your bicycling accident, identify a substitute (but as enjoyable) exercise that you’ll incorporate into your daily routine. If you have access to a pool, swimming is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise as it is low impact, has little chance of causing injury, and maintains your body temperature as you exercise. Jogging is another good choice although it may be ‘hard’ on your joints. Try several different alternative activities until you find what works best for you!

John M. Rabkin, M.D.
Pacific Laparoscopy


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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

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