Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass: Causes and Prevention

 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

 weight gain after gastric bypass

If you are one of the many people who have had gastric bypass surgery and are struggling to lose weight, you may be wondering why this is happening.

You may have followed all of the post-operative instructions and made significant changes to your diet, but you are still not seeing the results you were hoping for.

Weight gain after gastric bypass surgery can be attributed to several different factors. This blog post will explore possible reasons you gained weight after gastric bypass surgery and offer tips on getting back on track.

What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery, sometimes referred to as RYGB or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is a weight-reduction surgery. It’s usually done if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. A BMI of 30 to 39 is considered obese.

The surgery makes your stomach smaller and causes food to bypass part of your small intestine. This reduces the number of calories and nutrients your body absorbs.

Gastric bypass surgery is usually done laparoscopically. That means the surgeon makes several small incisions in your abdomen and inserts a tiny camera, called a laparoscope, through one incision. The surgeon watches a video screen as they operate through the other incisions.

You’ll likely stay in the hospital for a few days after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. You may need to stay longer if you have complications, such as bleeding or an infection.

Most people lose about 30% to 40% of their excess weight within the first year after surgery.

There are two types of gastric bypass surgery:

  • RYGB or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch (SADI-S)

RYGB is the most common type of gastric bypass surgery. It involves creating a small pouch at the top of your stomach and attaching a Y-shaped section of your small intestine to this pouch. This redirects food away from the rest of your stomach and the upper part of your small intestine, which absorb calories and nutrients.

SADI-S is a newer type of gastric bypass surgery. It involves removing most of your stomach and reattaching small intestines to a smaller stomach section. This lowers the quantity of food you can eat and limits the absorption of calories and nutrients.

Which type of surgery you have will depend on several factors, including your overall health, how much weight you need to lose, and your preferences.

If you’re interested in this surgery, talk to a bariatric surgeon to see if it’s right for you.

Who Can Benefit From Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Many people can benefit from gastric bypass surgery. This includes people who are obese, have diabetes, or have hypertension. Gastric bypass surgery can also help people who have trouble losing weight with other methods.

gastric bypass

People who are obese are more likely to benefit from gastric bypass surgery. This is because obesity can lead to health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension. Gastric bypass surgery can help people lose weight and reduce their risk of these health problems.

People who have diabetes or hypertension can also benefit from gastric bypass surgery. Diabetes and hypertension can both be serious health problems. 

Gastric bypass surgery is not for everyone. People who are not obese, do not have diabetes or hypertension, and can lose weight with other methods may not benefit from gastric bypass surgery.

If you are considering gastric bypass surgery, it is essential to talk to your doctor about whether or not it is right for you. There are risks involved with any surgery, and you will have to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Gastric bypass surgery isn’t a miracle cure for obesity. It is a tool that can help you lose weight, but you will still need to make healthy lifestyle choices. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are essential for long-term success.

What Causes Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass?

There are several reasons why you might gain weight after gastric bypass surgery. This includes:

  • Your stomach can now hold more food than it could before surgery. This means you can eat more at each meal and still feel full.
  • The surgery changes the way your digestive system absorbs food. You may absorb more calories and nutrients from the food you eat than you did before surgery.
  • You may not be getting enough exercise. Exercise can help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
couple eating in the bed
  • You may be eating too much or not following your diet plan. You should talk to your dietitian or doctor if you have trouble sticking to your diet.
  • You may have a medical condition that is causing you to gain weight. This could include conditions such as hypothyroidism or insulin resistance. If you think you may have a medical condition, talk to your doctor.

Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you are gaining weight after gastric bypass surgery. They can help you discover the cause and make changes to help you lose weight.

What Happens When You Gain Weight After Gastric Bypass?

When you gain weight after gastric bypass surgery, it can put you at risk for health problems. These include:

  • Hypertension: This can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
  • High cholesterol: This can increase your risk for heart disease.
  • Type II diabetes: This is a severe condition that can cause problems with your kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
  • Sleep apnea: This is a condition where you stop breathing while sleeping. It can be dangerous and lead to heart problems.
  • Joint pain: This can happen if the extra weight strains your joints.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): This is a condition where stomach acid comes back up into your throat. It can cause heartburn and damage your oesophagus.
  • Heart disease: This is the leading cause of death for overweight people.
  • Stroke: This can happen if a blood clot blocks blood flow to your brain.
  • Cancer: Being overweight increases your risk for cancer of the breast, uterus, cervix, ovaries, gallbladder, pancreas, and colon.

Reasons for Weight Regain After Gastric Bypass Surgery

There are several reasons that weight regain can occur after gastric bypass surgery. First, the stomach pouch can stretch over time, allowing patients to eat larger portions than before surgery.

Also, the intestines may absorb more calories and nutrients than before surgery. In addition, some patients may not follow the recommended diet and exercise plan after surgery.

Sleeping after gall bladder surgery can be difficult. Some patients may have trouble sleeping, which can lead to weight gain.

Patients may also have medical conditions contributing to weight regain, such as hypothyroidism or insulin resistance. If you think you may have a medical condition, talk to your doctor.

Finally, some medications can cause weight gain. These include steroids, birth control pills, antipsychotic drugs, and some antidepressants. Talk to your doctor if you think your medicine is causing you to gain weight.

How Many Times Can You Have Gastric Bypass?

The number of times you can have gastric bypass surgery varies from person to person. Some people only need one surgery, while others may require multiple surgeries.

putting on gloves

If you are considering having gastric bypass surgery, you must talk to your doctor about how many times you may need the procedure.

Moreover, it is also essential to remember that gastric bypass surgery is a major operation. If you are considering this surgery, you should ensure that you are doing it for the right reasons.

Gastric bypass surgery is not a quick fix for weight loss. It is a serious operation that can have major complications.

Like any process that involves maintaining homeostatis, you must give your body time to recover and heal after surgery. You will need to take it easy for a few weeks or even months.

You may not be able to return to your normal activities right away. It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and take the time you need to recover.

How to Lose Weight After Gastric Bypass Stops?

If you are one of the many people with gastric bypass surgery and then find that you start to gain weight again, there are some things that you can do to lose the weight and keep it off for good.

While it is true that this type of surgery can be a great way to help people lose a lot of weight, it is also important to remember that surgery is not a cure-all. There are still some things that you need to do to maintain your weight loss, including:

  • Eating a healthy diet: Just because you have had surgery to help you lose weight does not mean you can eat whatever you want.

You still need to eat a healthy diet to maintain your weight loss. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoiding sugary drinks, snacks, and processed foods will also help you keep the weight off.

  • Exercising regularly: Exercise is essential for maintaining weight loss. Not only does it help to burn calories, but it also helps to build muscle mass, which can help to boost your metabolism. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, even if it is just a walk around the block.
  • Avoiding triggers: Certain things can trigger weight gains, such as stress, lack of sleep, and certain medications. If you find that you are gaining weight after gastric bypass surgery, you must talk to your doctor about possible triggers to avoid them.
  • Staying motivated: It is also essential to stay motivated to keep the weight off. This means setting goals and rewarding yourself for reaching them.

These are just a few things you can do to lose weight after gastric bypass surgery. Following these tips can help maintain weight loss and avoid unwanted weight gain.

Alternatives to Gastric Bypass

If you are considering gastric bypass surgery, it is crucial to understand that other options are available. These include:

  • Adjustable Gastric Banding: This surgery involves placing a band around the stomach to create a small pouch. The pouch size can be adjusted, which can help control portion sizes and help with weight loss.
  • Gastric Sleeve: This surgery removes a large portion of the stomach, leaving a sleeve-shaped stomach. 
Weight Loss
  • Duodenal Switch: This surgery is similar to gastric bypass surgery but involves rerouting small intestines. This can help with nutrient absorption. 
  • Daily natural cleanses that include probiotic foods: If you look for a natural way to cleanse your body and promote weight loss, you may consider adding probiotic foods to your diet. Probiotics are live bacteria that can help improve gut health and promote weight loss.

However, talking to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen is essential.

What Percentage of Gastric Bypass Patients Gain the Weight Back?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the percentage of gastric bypass patients who regain weight varies depending on several factors.

However, studies have shown that anywhere from 20-40% of patients may experience some degree of weight regain after surgery.

What Percentage of Gastric Bypass Patients Keep Weight Off?

While there is no definitive answer to this question, studies have shown that gastric bypass patients successfully maintain long-term weight loss.

One study found that 93% of patients maintained a 10% reduction in excess body weight twelve years after surgery.

Can Your Stomach Grow After Gastric Bypass?

Yes, your stomach can expand after gastric bypass surgery. This usually occurs if you do not stick to the recommended diet and exercise plan following surgery.


It is essential to understand that there are risks involved with gastric bypass surgery if you are considering having one.

However, by following the tips outlined above, you can help to ensure that you maintain your weight loss and avoid any unwanted weight gain. Other options are available if you are not interested in or eligible for surgery.

For example, you may benefit from an Optima Healthy Gut Solution for a healthy digestive system that aids in the elimination of waste and weight reduction. It’s a potent vitamin that helps break down essential nutrients and move them into your circulation by breaking down complex compounds.

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