How the Stomach Can Be Stretched After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Back to Blog

Every year, thousands choose to get gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana, Mexico. With this procedure, about 80 percent of the stomach is removed, creating a small pouch and reducing the effects of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

The sleeve has a very high success rate, but sometimes, patients can relapse years after the surgery. The most common reason for this? Stretching your stomach out.

Why the Stomach Stretches

You might be asking yourself, can you really stretch out your stomach after gastric sleeve? After all, 80 percent of your stomach is gone. What’s left to stretch?

The gastric sleeve stomach stretch is a well-known phenomenon. The stomach is naturally designed to stretch to accommodate food intake, and even with much of it removed, this ability doesn’t go away. The remaining stomach tissue will still expand and contract to accommodate your meals.

Over time, eating large meals changes your stomach, leaving it larger long term. While it still expands and contracts, it contracts to a larger size than it previously did.

If you have had a gastric sleeve, this means that you can, steadily over time, undo the effects of surgery simply by not following your post-op diet. This then leads to relapse from your Tijuana gastric sleeve surgery.

How to Prevent Stomach Stretching

1. Stick to Your Post-Op Diet Plan: No, not the one for directly after surgery, but your long-term one. Whether you choose a vegetarian diet after bariatric surgery, low-carb, or something else completely, what remains the same is that your plan will include fewer calories and smaller portions.

2. Don’t Overeat: Even on occasion, overeating can change your stomach pouch. Stick to your correct portions at special events, restaurants—anywhere you eat.

3. Don’t Combine Drinks and Meals: You should put at least one to two hours between your meals and your fluids. This helps prevent the stomach from getting overly full, causing stretching.

4. Never Skip a Meal: When you skip meals, you set yourself up for binging later. While you might consume the same amount of food as you would spreading it out over an entire day, the impact in regards to stomach stretching is quite different.

Getting gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana can be life-changing, but you have to do your part to ensure you can enjoy your results long-term. Focus on sticking to the right foods and portions and keeping a meal schedule that prevents you from overfilling your stomach.

Am I eligible for
weight loss surgery?