Hi every one, I’m Nina and welcome to Mexicali Bariatric Center. Today I would like to talk to you about reasons why your Gastric Sleeve surgery might have failed. Before we start, I want to identify what somebody what somebody might label as “failed”. Let’s say that you needed to lose 150 pounds and you only lost 30, you might consider that a failure. There are patients that have called us that lost 150 pounds but regained all the weight. That is also considered a failed surgery. Another scenario might be needing to lose 150 pounds and only losing 100 pounds. Personally I wouldn’t consider that a failure, but if your expectations are not met, you may consider that the surgery has failed.
So, what happened? There are several reasons you might have a failed surgery with the sleeve. First (and this doesn’t mean is the most important) we have the construction of the sleeve. You might not have gotten a very good sleeve to start with. Surgery is not the only solution for your weight problem, but if you’re getting weight loss surgery you need a tool to lose that weight and keep it off. Having a good sleeve done by your surgeon is the first step. We find that many of them are not done in the way they should give patients an efficient tool, sometimes we find that sleeves are too big, or sometimes we find some sleeves that have a very large fundus and that, again, holds a lot of food. Third, you will find sleeves that have a very large antrum, which is a lower part… sometimes both of them are wrongly done, so you’ll see sleeves with bulges all over, and that holds a lot of food. What happens is that those sleeves can hold three to four times the amount of food that a tighter -and more efficient- sleeve might hold. Certainly you can lose some weight, but if you’re having a sleeve the better its construction the better your chances of long term success. And that is what you want.
There are things you can do to correct this. If the problem is of construction, it can be fixed through surgery, but we’ll discuss that later. Another reason why the sleeve might have failed is that you didn’t change your eating habits. All surgeries are just tools to help you change your eating habits, the DS, the lap-band, the bypass, they are all focused on helping you change the way you eat, so the better the tool you have, the easier to change those habits and help you lose the weight. There’s no way around it: you need to get information from your doctor about protein, carb and water guidelines. Everybody that had surgery should get information on how to use your new tool. Another reason why you might have been failing with your sleeve is exercise. Some patients don’t need to exercise to lose weight lose weight and keep it off… but that’s the minority. Everybody else needs to exercise. And again, it’s not that if you don’t exercise you necessarily won’t succeed, is that you have another strong element in your favor to help you lose weight and keep it off. It doesn’t have to be 3 hours in the gym daily, it doesn’t even have to be 1 hour. It might be 3 times a week, walking 30 minutes a day… and making it part of your lifestyle. Remember, is about changing habits not only in what you eat but also in your physical activity.
Another very interesting situation is that sometimes patients call us that have a very tight sleeve years out of surgery, they are eating small amounts and following the guidelines, and they are doing some exercise. But they are stuck. Usually these patients are in the scenario I mentioned before in where they do lose weight but not what they expected. It’s like the sleeve will not take you any further, that’s where you are. Somebody that has been successful with the sleeve and has lost weight, might say “you haven’t done this or that”. But we mustn’t jump to any conclusions. There are some patients that need the metabolic effect, the malabsorption part that maybe the DS or a Gastric Bypass offer; there are some patients that need additional help, but there’s also a solution for this patients. These patients sometimes follow strict dietary guidelines and still won’t lose a pound.
Lastly, about support. You need support from your community, your peers, your family… Talking to patients who have been through a similar situation always helps. Another kind of support is the one from your doctor’s office. It is important to have this type of communication for your doctor to offer solutions by knowing where you are. Calling your doctor and keeping him informed on your situation will always help. Be sure to have good communication with your doctor’s office.
If you are in any of these scenarios doesn’t mean that not having one of them you will necessarily fail, it means that you need to have a more solid foundation for your weight loss. It is like having a table with five legs: it will be more solid. If one of them is missing, it will be a little big harder. If your sleeve wasn’t properly constructed, you will need to rely harder on your eating habits, exercise and support to compensate for that. But you still can do it. Same thing if you don’t exercise. It is when you have everything in place that your chances of long term success will be higher. Try to focus in all aspects to have good results for the rest of your life.
If you need to take any X-Rays, there isn’t any cost, our doctors would be happy to review them and give you their opinion on the quality of your sleeve.
If you have any questions remember to visit mexicalibariatric.com or call us toll free at 888-344-3916.