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Managing Stomach Stretching After Gastric Sleeve

April 25, 2017

gastric sleeve surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the highly recommended bariatric procedures to treat morbid obesity and any underlying disorders. It reduces the size of the stomach to create a pouch and lowers the production of the hunger hormone, “ghrelin”, to facilitate weight loss. Though the procedure is effective and has a high success rate, many bariatric patients are concerned about unwittingly stretching their newly created stomach pouch as they no longer feel the same degree of fullness post surgery. Perth Surgical and Bariatrics educates patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery in Perth on what to expect and the best lifestyle changes post surgery. To shed more light on the subject, the blog post discusses stomach stretching post gastric sleeve surgery and a few ways to mitigate the occurrence.

Why Does the Stomach Stretch Post Gastric Sleeve?

Most bariatric patients assume stomach stretching to be a complication after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. In reality, the stomach has an innate ability to stretch to accommodate food intake. The walls of the stomach are composed of tissue called “rugae”, which accounts for the stretching as a direct response to food intake. After ingesting food, the stomach first expands, then contracts, as the food is pushed into the digestive tract, and the cycle repeats every time a person eats something. Though stomach stretching is natural and supposed to happen after eating, too much stretching can lead to skewed hunger and fullness signals. Continued stretching makes the stomach ask for more food, even when it’s half or completely full; which is one of the reasons why maintaining weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery can be tough.

What are the Possible Complications of Stomach Stretching?

Stomach stretching mostly happens after overeating and may lead to a permanent increase in the size of the stomach. As the stomach grows, it demands more food to feel satiated, as hunger and fullness signals are skewed. Patients end up having more than the prescribed calorie intake, which reflects either as an inability to lose weight or a relapse post gastric sleeve surgery. Though not a health hazard, stomach stretching defeats all efforts to maintain weight loss after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery.

Ways to Minimize Stomach Stretching

Avoid Overeating

After undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, stay away from binge eating, as it leads to skewed hunger and fullness signals, giving way to an unending cycle of overeating and stomach stretching. Remember however that overstretching the stomach once in awhile is no big deal. Measure your meals, follow your diet chart, and in the event of any confusion regarding your eating habits, consult your bariatric doctor.

Take Fluids After Meals

Get into the habit of drinking fluids one or two hours before and after meals. Try not to drink water, juices or carbonated beverages 20-30 minutes before and after a meal, as fluids occupy space in the stomach that ideally should be reserved for nutrient rich foods. Drinking fluids at appropriate times helps with easy digestion, without limiting the stomach space or building up too much gases. Sugary and carbonated beverages are a complete no-no, as they contribute to enlarging the stomach and unhealthy calories.

Avoid Skipping Meals

Most bariatric patients assume that skipping a meal or two aids their weight loss goals; the reality, however, is the total opposite. Skipping meals means compromising on your nutrients and calorie intake, which shouldn’t happen after gastric sleeve surgery. Instead, decide what and how much you need to eat to maximize weight loss results after gastric sleeve. Pack some healthy snacks to work or try a few protein-rich, bariatric recipes to stay on track with your weight loss goals.

Eat Small Portions

After undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, eat small portions. Small portions help ensure that your newly created stomach pouch is not overstressed to churn and digest food, helping you avoid weight regain after gastric sleeve. If you feel hungry, eat an additional food portion after 3-4 hours or as prescribed by your bariatric doctor or dietician. Nonetheless, keep a check on your daily calorie intake.

Say Goodbye to Prospects of a Relapse

Gastric sleeve surgery or any bariatric surgical procedure, facilitates weight loss but only you can minimize or eliminate the possibility of weight regain by avoiding issues such as stomach stretching. The stomach takes time to heal after gastric sleeve and deviating from your diet plan increases the likelihood of regaining weight. To avoid such an occurrence, you need to plan your meals, resist temptations to go back to unhealthy foods, and keep in touch with your bariatric surgeon for sustainable weight loss guidance. To learn more about sleeve gastrectomy and stomach stretching, feel free to schedule a consultation with bariatric surgeons at Perth Surgical and Bariatrics. We provide reputable weight loss surgical treatments, including gastric sleeve in Perth, Australia. You can also speak to our weight loss experts at 0893709686.



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