If you’re thinking about getting gastric sleeve surgery, one of the most important questions you probably have is whether or not your stomach will get bigger after the surgery. Even though it’s normal for your stomach to stretch a little as your body adjusts, it shouldn’t cause you to gain a lot of weight if you follow the rules for what to eat after surgery.
Don’t think that your stomach will stretch right away.
Most people lose around 60% of their extra weight in the first 18 months after surgery. At this point, you are more likely to gain weight back because you may start to stray from your eating and exercise plans.
One recent study found that between 13 and 30 percent of people who have gastric sleeve surgery gain weight back over time. The amount of weight varies a lot. It can be anywhere from 2.7% to 129.2%.
But if you eat healthy and strictly after surgery, your stomach might not grow at all. When it does, going back to a healthy diet will make it shrink, and you’ll be able to keep all of the weight you lost off. For example, if you eat light after a big meal to make sure you don’t eat too many calories, your stomach will go back to its normal size.
After a gastric sleeve procedure, how can you stretch your stomach?
Following the surgery, your stomach will be able to expand. It is formed of folds of tissue that expand and compress when food moves through the digestive tract. Because of this, when you put on weight, the folds in your stomach widen.
You could consume a considerable amount of food before your brain notified your body that you were full since your stomach had already extended slightly prior to surgery. With the gastric sleeve, however, the stomach is drastically reduced by up to 85%.
As your stomach shrinks, your brain will signal your body that you are full more faster than it did previously. It’s also much simpler to overeat and mistakenly extend your stomach after surgery because your stomach is smaller.
But it’s up to you to heed this warning and quit overindulging in your food. Once your stomach pouch begins to stretch, it may return to its pre-surgery size if you continue to consume more than it can handle.
Factors that may cause your stomach to stretch above the normal range
After gastric sleeve surgery, your stomach may extend due to a variety of circumstances, many of which contributed to your weight gain in the first place.
Binge eating and impulsive eating are two of the most prominent causes of a swollen belly. Always stop eating when you feel full after surgery. Your stomach will begin to swell if you push yourself over that point.
Depression and a lot of stress can also make you eat more than you should and stretch out your stomach. You should also try to avoid not getting enough sleep and being inactive in general. If you don’t plan your meals well, you might also eat more than you should.
Meditation and exercise, like yoga and lifting weights, are great ways to stop yourself from feeling sad or eating out of stress. Also, doing these things will keep you busy, which should help you keep a good sleep schedule.
Precautions can be taken to prevent the stomach from expanding
In addition to following a stringent diet and getting plenty of exercise, there are a few additional modest things you can do when you eat that will help lower the risk of your stomach extending to the point where it was before you had surgery. These include the following:
- Use smaller plates, because smaller plates mean smaller portions.
- When you eat, take small bites so that your stomach can break down the food properly.
- If you chew your food longer, you’ll be able to taste it better and feel fuller.
- Don’t drink anything 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after you eat.
- Don’t eat food without thinking throughout the day.
In conclusion, it is essential that you prioritise making progress rather than concentrating on being flawless. Acknowledge the reality that you will inevitably make errors, but also remember that it is your response to those errors that will decide whether or not you are successful in maintaining your weight loss.
Stomach Stretching’s Long-Term Effects
Long-term, stomach stretching could cause you to gain back all of the weight you lost after the procedure. If that happens, you’ll be back to being overweight and all the health risks that come with it.
But that doesn’t mean that the surgery was a waste of time; there are ways to reset your stomach pouch to make it smaller again. But you’ll basically have to start over to get to your goal weight.