As anyone who has ever been on a diet knows, the deal on weight loss is never closed. There are many who succeed, but losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge. And unfortunately in the weight loss challenge, failure is an option. Many raise the bar on their efforts and vie for bariatric surgery as a remedy.
Success Is Not a Guarantee
A great many studies have been done to measure the success of weight- loss surgery, and the sad result is that often times patients gain back most or more of the weight they have lost in the three years following surgery. In addition, a good number fall short of their initial weight loss goal prior to regain.
A Brazilian study of 782 patients found that 63 percent of patients put the weight back on within two years. A German review of studies on weight loss surgery discovered that 30 percent of patients regained the weight they had lost between 18 and 36 months after surgery.Bariatric surgery is certainly an effective tool for losing weight, but it is not the cure-all that many believe it to be. The procedure is only as good as a patient's level of determination to keep the weight off. Ultimately, success or failure is an individual choice, and some individuals make better choices than do others. [Read ** Are You Emotionally Prepared for Weight-Loss Surgery?**]
Once the weight is regained, patients again face the same health risks they had prior to surgery. But what about it makes it so easy to gain weight back, even after a medical procedure?
3 Main Reasons for Weight Regain Following Bariatric Surgery* ** The main reason for weight regain following bariatric surgery** is simple non-compliance. Patients still have an unhealthy relationship with food that surgery alone cannot fix. They continue to consume high calorie coffees or fruit drinks and try to keep trigger foods in their lives. These food are in great part what led to their obesity to begin with and can include sweets, bread, and alcohol. Trigger foods often do little to satisfy hunger but can create cravings. Successful patients engage a post-surgical lifestyle that is free of trigger foods.** [Read** ** Bariatric Surgery is a Starting Point, Not a Magic Bullet for Weight Loss**]* ** The second reason for weight regain after bariatric surgery** is that within the first 12 to 18 months post-surgery, weight is lost rapidly and without too much difficulty. Many patients compromise their diet plans and ignore the maintenance suggestions offered by healthcare professionals but continue to lose weight anyhow. Once the body adjusts to its new physiology, the poor habits practiced by patients begin to yield poor results. The healthy patterns of diet and exercise that needed to be developed during the first 12 to 18 months were not, and the end result is failure.
- The final reason for post-bariatric surgery weight regain is lack of support. Patients may find themselves in the company of people who are either non-supportive or do not know how to lend sufficient support. This leaves patients in a situation where they are self-reliant and accountable only to themselves for their behaviors and actions. The successful bariatric patient is one who develops and maintains a proper support group made up of people who understand the challenges of the bariatric patient.** [Read** ** Weight Loss Goal Setting Checklist****]**** Living larger than ever,**My Bariatric Lifisit me on MyBariatricLife.org, Flickr, Vimeo, Twitter, YouTube,StumbleUpon, ** Google+**
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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH