Is Weight-Loss Surgery Permanent?

Woman in front of a mirror at home after LAP-BAND® surgery (model)

One of the questions many people ask about bariatric surgery at SmartShape™ is if weight-loss surgery is permanent. The answer depends in part on the type of surgery you choose. It also depends on if the question refers to the physical changes made during the procedure, or if you can gain back the weight you lose after surgery.

Bariatric Surgery Options

We offer 3 different types of bariatric surgery at our Toronto weight loss centre:

Our experienced bariatric surgeons also perform revision surgery for patients who experience complications after undergoing surgery with another physician or who want to have a different type of weight loss procedure. Our surgeons typically perform either mini gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedures for patients who undergo revision surgery to remove a Lap-Band. The Lap-Band procedure is an older technique that is rarely used for weight-loss surgery. Today, only about 1% of bariatric procedures use the LAP-BAND® because the mini gastric bypass and gastric sleeve options are more advanced and effective.

Is Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery Permanent?

A mini gastric bypass procedure can be reversed, but it requires an operation similar to the initial surgery. Surgeons perform the laparoscopically, meaning they insert a specialized device without having to make large incisions on the abdomen.

A mini-gastric bypass procedure involves 2 distinct parts. First, the surgeon separates approximately 25% of the stomach from the rest of the stomach. Second, the surgeon joins the remaining stomach section (the gastric pouch) to the small intestine. Bypassing most of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine reduces the absorption of a patient’s food intake.

A mini gastric bypass can help patients lose between 60 to 80% of their excess weight in the first year. Data also show long-term weight loss of 50% or more 10 years after the procedure.

Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Permanent?

Unlike the LAP-BAND® and mini gastric bypass surgery, surgeons cannot reverse a gastric sleeve procedure. The procedure, which is also performed laparoscopically, removes a significant portion of the stomach and creates a banana-shaped pouch, or sleeve, which holds much less food. This smaller pouch limits the amount of food a patient can eat. Removing a portion of the stomach reduces the body’s level of a hormone called ghrelin, commonly referred to as the “hunger hormone,” so the procedure also reduces a patient’s appetite.

Can You Regain Weight After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is intended to help you achieve your weight loss goals permanently. But studies show that some people regain weight, typically about 2-10 years after the original surgery. Regaining a few pounds isn’t an issue, but to avoid significant weight gain after bariatric surgery it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes good eating habits and regular exercise.

Which Procedure Is Right for You?

If you’re considering bariatric surgery and want to learn more about your options, the best place to start is by requesting a consultation at SmartShape Weight Loss Centre using the online form or by calling us at (888) 278-7952 to schedule an appointment.