When you decided to have bariatric surgery to lose weight and lower your risk for chronic disease, it was a life-changing decision. Bariatric surgery permanently changes the size of your stomach, alters your metabolism, and has an effect on the way you eat and digest food. Most people who undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss lose about 60 to 80 percent of their excess body fat within the first two years.

But what happens if you don’t lose weight, start gaining weight back, or develop complications after surgery?

Your doctor will need to evaluate your diet and exercise habits and take a closer look at your stomach, intestines and original bariatric surgery. Based on the findings, you may need Revisional Bariatric Surgery.

What is Revisional Bariatric Surgery?

Revisional Bariatric Surgery may be recommended when a problem develops after your initial surgery, you start packing on the pounds again after successfully losing weight, or develop a complication. Your doctor will determine the appropriate revisional bariatric procedure such as:

  • Shrinking the stomach by injecting medicine into the opening between your stomach and small intestine. Several treatments of sclerotherapy are designed to develop additional scar tissue to help shrink the stomach.

 

  • Making the stomach pouch smaller with the ROSE procedure or StomaphyX procedure. Using laparoscopic tools, folds are made in the stomach to make it smaller with these procedures.

 

  • Adding an adjustable band to gastric bypass. Installing the Lap-Band over your gastric bypass can help shrink the stomach, promote weight loss, and help with portion control.

 

  • Lengthening the small intestine to control food intake. Food from your stomach pouch flows directly into the Roux limb (the section of your small intestine). Adjusting the length of the Roux limb can help control hunger.

 

  • Rerouting the digestive tract to restrict food intake and control digestion. In many cases, weight reduction surgery is planned with two procedures in mind; bariatric surgery followed by this procedure called a duodenal switch at a later date.

Benefits of the Surgery

A primary goal of revisional bariatric surgery is to help patients achieve weight loss goals expected with the initial bariatric surgery. The good news is that revisional bariatric surgery helps patients achieve a reduction in excess body fat of 50 percent or more, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. But long-term weight loss isn’t the only benefit. Research shows that revisional bariatric surgery can also:

  • Help you live longer
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Resolve sleep-related disorders
  • Minimize complications associated with asthma
  • Improve cholesterol levels
  • Control diabetes and regulate blood sugar levels
  • Decrease pain and mobility issues caused by arthritis
  • Reduce heart disease and stroke risk

What's Recovery Like?

For the least invasive procedures associated with revisional bariatric surgery, patients resume normal activities within 48 hours. For more advanced procedures used in revisional bariatric surgery, recovery time can vary but typically won’t take longer than 6 to 8 weeks.

If you haven’t been following the recommended diet prior to surgery, you’ll need to begin the process again to adjust your eating habits by following a liquid diet first and then adding small amounts of pureed foods and soft foods to your meal plan.

Possible Risks

Risk is an inherent factor for any kind of surgery. Infection, excessive bleeding, or complications that develop during surgery associated with another health problem can occur.

Following revisional bariatric surgery, a small percentage of patients experience intestinal bleeding, abdominal pain, small ulcers, and increased blood pressure.

When comparing revisional bariatric procedures, complications are more likely to occur with the addition of the lap-band and lengthening of the small intestine.

Fortunately, revisional bariatric surgery helps most patients get back on track, control hunger, and achieve their weight loss goals.

Diet Post Surgery

If you’ve been following the dietary recommendations since your initial bariatric surgery prior to a revisional procedure, it will be easier to resume your normal diet after surgery.

If that’s not the case, a post-surgery nutrition plan should start with a liquid diet for 1 to 2 weeks. After that, you can start eating pureed fruits and vegetables, and then introduce soft foods. Revisional bariatric surgery will correct any problems associated with your first surgery and should help better control hunger and improve digestion. 

Support & Follow Up

Your doctor will want to monitor your progress after revisional bariatric surgery to make sure you’re losing weight and eating properly, and that the surgery resolved any other complications. Regular check-ups every few months during the first year after revisional bariatric surgery are typical. You doctor and medical team will also provide you with a nutrition and exercise plan you should follow to maximize weight loss and avoid regaining the weight.

Have questions about your original bariatric surgery or didn’t get the results you expected? We can help. Contact the Suffolk county office of the New York Bariatric Group for more information.