Can You Stretch Your Stomach After Gastric Bypass? The Answer May Surprise You

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Many people think of obesity as a disease that can be controlled through diet and exercise. But in the 20th century, a new type of obesity surgery emerged: bariatric surgery. This type of surgery is designed to help obese people lose weight and reduce their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. The original bariatric procedure is gastric bypass surgery, which reduces the size of the stomach and bypasses much of the small intestine. Gastric bypass is still one of the most common bariatric procedures.

Gastric bypass surgery reduces the stomach down to a fraction of its original size. This is meant to reduce hunger, lower fat absorption, and prevent the possibility of overeating by forcing portion size to be small. However, the stomach has the ability to stretch in order to contain larger amounts of food. Is stomach stretching a risk after gastric bypass surgery? Here’s what we have to say about it.

How Does Gastric Bypass Work?

Gastric bypass surgery, also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is a laparoscopic procedure.  The stomach is made smaller by creating a stomach pouch and connecting that pouch to a lower part of the small intestine. This is to reduce gastric capacity so that people can feel full with less food, and to allow the smaller stomach to bypass the absorptive surface of the small intestine, reducing the digestive system’s ability to digest fat.

Can You Stretch Your Stomach Pouch After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

The answer is yes. Stomachs have an amazing capacity to expand according to its present needs. If you eat a lot of food, your stomach will stretch to allow the food to fit.

With a stomach pouch, the situation is no different. However, you are highly unlikely to be able to overeat in the first few months after gastric bypass surgery. The reason is because you can still only tolerate a small amount of food. If you try to overeat in the first few months after gastric bypass, you will probably experience vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

But your digestive system will recover over time, and soon your body will be able to tolerate more food. Despite your stomach pouch being about 20% the size of your overall stomach, it can still stretch to accommodate higher volumes of food over time.

So what does this mean? Put simply: if you do not stick to your new, reduced calorie diet, you will eventually gain the weight back.

How To Prevent Stomach Stretching After Gastric Bypass

There is one true way to prevent stomach stretching after gastric bypass: don’t overeat. This is a simple tip, but one that may not be easy to follow. Stick to the diet you were eating while you were losing weight rapidly. Small portions, eaten a few times per day, is the best way to keep the weight off and to prevent your stomach pouch from stretching.

But this is easier said than done, so here are some added tips that can help:

  • Don’t snack. Instead, if you prefer to eat more frequently, eat small meals throughout the day. Many gastric bypass patients get used to eating 4-6 times per day in order to meet their protein goals.
  • Keep track of your food. If you eat it, write it down. Use an app like MyFitnessPal or simply keep track of your meals in a notebook or word processor.
  • Drink lots of water, spaced evenly throughout the day. Don’t chug your water, either: drink small amounts throughout the day. A simple tip to follow is to drink a few sips of water every hour that you don’t consume a meal. Don’t drink after a meal, either.

Get Gastric Bypass in Tijuana with Dr. Jalil Illan

Did you know that gastric bypass in Tijuana, Mexico can be less than half the price than in the United States? You can get medical care of the same quality as in the US at a much lower cost. Book a consultation today!

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