Reasons Why Gastric Sleeve Surgery Can Fail 



Gastric Sleeve Surgery can fail to provide the expected weight loss for numerous reasons. When this happens, professionals say that gastric sleeve surgery has failed.

However, for more patients, gastric sleeve surgery is highly successful for the treatment of obesity

You can expect to lose at least 50 percent of your excess weight within 24 months following gastric sleeve. Some patients lose as much as 70 percent of their excess weight. 

In spite of the effectiveness of gastric sleeve, this surgery can fail. Here are some of the most common reasons why. 

#1 Return to Old Eating Habits 

The number one reason why gastric sleeve surgery can fail is because the patient went back to their old eating habits. Consuming a diet high in fats, refined sugar, and processed foods can contribute to failure. Patients must be committed to changing their diets. Make sure you comply with your surgical team’s recommendations. 

#2 Lack of Exercise 

It’s important to exercise after having gastric sleeve surgery. About a month post-op, you will want to start on a modified exercise program. 

Working out can boost your metabolism, and aid in weight loss. Aside from weight loss, exercise can help improve your heart health and so much more. 

#3 Complications 

Complications from surgery can result in gastric sleeve failure. Some of these include infection, acid reflux, and chronic nausea. 

#4 Sleeve Is Too Large  

The gastric sleeve can sometimes be too big after surgery. If your sleeve is too large, it can be redone to make it smaller.

Several reasons why your new “sleeve” is too large includes the stomach stretching, and the

A barium swallow x-ray will show the size of your sleeve. This allows  your surgeon to determine if it can be made smaller. 

#5 Poor Vitamin Intake

After surgery, patients receive a list of vitamins to prevent malnutrition after the operation. Because gastric sleeve surgery works by reducing the size of the stomach, nutrient absorption is also affected. It is common for many patients to remain on various supplements and vitamins to maintain proper nutritional levels. Not taking bariatric-specific supplements after surgery can cause issues with memory loss and nerve damage.

A study published by the NIH concurred that there is a higher incidence of gastric sleeve failure among patients who do not comply with doctor’s orders, which can cause a negative outcome.

#6 Side Effects of Particular Medications

Although gastric bypass surgery may make it easier to lose weight over time, there are still certain medications you may be taking which list weight gain as a potential side effect. For example, antidepressants, beta blockers and steroids are all examples of medicines that commonly cause weight gain. You should never discontinue using a prescription without checking with your doctor first. However, some drugs can make your weight loss journey more challenging, even after getting weight loss surgery.

#7 Lack of Understanding How Gastric Sleeve Works

When gastric sleeve surgery occurs, there is a 75% reduction in stomach size. At this point, you can only eat a few ounces of food at a time. Otherwise, complications may occur due to overeating. In addition to the physical reduction, gastric sleeve surgery also increases your metabolism, which causes you to burn more calories. This increase in caloric burn is especially significant during the first six months after surgery. I

t is important to follow post-op protocol during this time. If you do not follow the instructions given to you by your doctor, then your overall weight loss and success may be lower than it should. If you are unsure how gastric sleeve works or have questions about what to do afterward, be sure to speak with your surgeon to increase your chances of success.

#8 Technical Reasons During the Surgery

While most bariatric surgeons try to reduce the size of a patient’s stomach by at least 75% during gastric sleeve surgery, they have some discretion regarding the exact amount. Some surgeons may leave too large of a portion behind.

Another common reason for failure is that they may not remove the part of the stomach that produces ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that sends signs to your brain that cause you to feel hungry. If the stomach volume is too large, you may not meet your weight loss goals, and ghrelin makes it more challenging to stick with smaller meals.

What Can You Do If Your Gastic Sleeve Has Failed? 

So, what can you do if bariatric surgery doesn’t work for you? If you have had bariatric surgery that has failed, you might be a good candidate for a Gastric Sleeve Revison surgery. Please keep in mind that a revison surgery won’t fix poor eating or exercise habits. 

Sometimes other interventions can help as well. The best thing is to talk to your surgical team and follow all recommendations.