When your weight became a major obstacle to your health and quality of life in Port Jefferson, you realized your best option to get back on track was bariatric surgery. It wasn’t an easy decision, but you were hopeful that weight reduction surgery would help improve your eating habits, lower your risk for chronic disease, and tip the scale permanently in the right direction.
Many patients who undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss lose up to 80 percent of their excess body weight within the first two to three years after surgery, according to the Obesity Action Coalition. But what if bariatric surgery doesn’t work out quite the way you imagined, you don’t lose enough weight, you start gaining weight back, or a problem develops after surgery?
In many cases, recommitting to the recommended diet and exercise plan can help, but sometimes poor results after surgery mean you may need revisional bariatric surgery.
What is Revisional Bariatric Surgery?
If your doctor determines that your initial bariatric surgery for weight loss has failed, some complication has developed, or new procedures are available to enhance the long-term effectiveness of bariatric surgery for weight management and disease prevention, your doctor may recommend revisional bariatric surgery.
Revisional bariatric surgery is a general term used to describe a number of different procedures surgeons may use to repair, correct, or upgrade an initial bariatric surgical procedure. Depending on test results and medical evaluations, revisional bariatric surgery techniques that may be used to help you include:
Reducing the size of the stomach with medicine. When this technique is used, medicine is injected into the stomach during several different office visits. It’s designed to help the stomach produce scar tissue and reduce volume to help control cravings and help you feel fuller without overeating.
Surgically reducing the size of the stomach with laparoscopic tools by folding over tissue in the stomach to make it smaller.
Installing a lap-band over your stomach that was permanently reduced in size during your initial gastric bypass surgery.
Making the small intestine longer to help reduce appetite and increase feelings of satiety. When you eat, food is moved to the stomach pouch for digestion and then flows into a section of the small intestine called the Roux limb. Altering the length of the Roux limb is sometimes used for revisional bariatric surgery.
Rerouting the digestive tract to restrict food intake and control digestion. In some cases patients first undergo weight loss surgery to have an adjustable lap-band placed over the stomach. Sometimes a follow-up surgery to this involves removing the lap-band and completing gastric sleeve surgery to further promote weight loss and appetite control.
Most people who undergo bariatric surgery do so primarily to treat obesity, lower risk factors for chronic diseases, or both. When these goals aren’t achieved following an initial bariatric procedure, revisional bariatric surgical techniques are designed to help you get back on track with your weight loss goals, improve your health, and quality of life.
While weight loss after bariatric surgery varies based on factors unique to each patient, the average patient loses 50 percent of their excess body fat within the first couple of years after surgery, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. When revisional bariatric surgery helps you lose excess weight other health benefits follow such as:
Reduced risk for hypertension
Fewer sleep-related disorders
Decreased number of asthma-related issues
Better cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Lower blood sugar levels and complications associated with diabetes
Less pain and mobility issues caused by arthritis
Lower risk for heart disease and stroke
It depends. As mentioned above, there is no one-size-fits-all procedure for revisional bariatric surgery. Instead, the surgeon uses the best procedure to repair any problems related to your initial surgery and enhance weight loss and appetite control. Some procedures are more invasive than others, and require longer recovery times. For the least invasive options, you may feel better within 48 hours. For procedures that require more time in surgery, recovery time can be similar to your initial surgery and take about six to eight weeks.
Following the diet and exercise plan your healthcare team provided you after your first bariatric surgery is one of the best ways to avoid complications. If you’re doing this and still need revisional bariatric surgery, your recovery time will be shorter and it will be easier to resume your normal activities. If you haven’t been following the prescribed lifestyle plan, you can expect recovery time to take longer because you’ll need to start from the beginning similar to the plan recommended after your initial bariatric surgery.
Surgery of any kind comes with some risk. There’s a chance you could contract an infection the hospital. During the procedure excessive bleeding could require a blood transfusion, and complications could arise linked to other underlying health conditions. Your surgeon and healthcare team take every precaution to minimize these kinds of risks.
After revisional bariatric surgery, most patients find that the procedure helps them get back on track. However, it’s important to know that the surgery could cause bleeding in the intestines, stomach pain, ulcers on the lining of the stomach, and a spike in blood pressure. Some research suggests that revisional bariatric surgery that involves placing a lap-band over the initial gastric bypass surgery is the most likely procedure to develop complications. The good news is that most revisional bariatric surgical procedures help people start losing weight again and feel satisfied eating smaller amounts of food.
Diet Post Surgery
If your doctor doesn’t suspect or identify a failed procedure as the cause for poor results linked to your initial bariatric surgery, your doctor may recommend that you recommit to eating healthy foods, drinking adequate amounts of water, and getting regular exercise. In many cases, following the dietary and exercise guidelines can help patients jump start their weight loss again.
If you’ve been increasingly eating more foods and less healthy foods since your initial surgery, your diet after revisional baritric surgery will likely be similar to what you ate after you had surgery the first time. Liquids for the first one to two weeks post-surgery. Cooked soft vegetables purreed in a blender during post-surgery weeks 3 and 4. And then gradually introducing soft foods and solid foods after that.
If you were already following the recommended diet prior to revisional bariatric surgery, you’ll you should be able to resume your normal eating habits in just a few days. If you haven’t been following the plan, you can expect it to take longer (up to 6 to 8 weeks) to get your diet back on track.
You’ll meet with your doctor shortly after surgery, and then every couple of months after that during the first year post revisional bariatric surgery. During your visits, you’ll talk about your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. Your healthcare team will also take measurements to track your progress over time such as weight, Body Mass Index, and blood tests used to identify risks for chronic diseases.
Ready to enjoy life in Port Jefferson the way it was meant to be? We can help. Contact the New York Bariatric Group Port Jefferson office for a consultation about your health, initial weight reduction surgery, and evaluation for revisional bariatric surgery.