There is NO going back!

One thing I have been asked a few times which I really struggle to answer in a nice non sarcastic way is when people ask me now that I’ve lost weight and got to my goal weight if I’m going to have my stomach put back. Sometimes I really need to take a step back and remind myself that other people who are naïve about the process and haven’t got as much perspective as me just have no idea and that it is a valid question.

Gastric bypass is not done with a view to having it reversed. In very rare circumstances and for health reasons it can be reversed but I’ve only heard of this happening once (this was on a U.S. weight loss surgery forum). Unlike a gastric sleeve where the excess is removed so there is no option to go back with a bypass all of your tissue is left inside so technically it could be put back. Physically you still have all the bits and it is possible for that tissue to be used in the future if it was needed.

Part of what makes gastric bypass a successful tool to help in the initial weight loss phase and the long-term maintenance of your goal weight is the restrictive aspect of having your stomach made smaller. For me this was one of the biggest draw cards to getting is done as I knew I could lose weight and had done it many times before but I was never able to maintain it for long.

The second part of what makes it such a great tool is the malabsorptive aspect. Your intestine does reshuffle and regain some of this capacity about a year after the initial surgery but it does continue to have a long-term effect in terms of having a positive ongoing influence in your weight management . This was another thing that made gastric bypass such a good option for me.

Gastric bypass is a choice for life. In New Zealand it is not done with a view to be being reversed when you hit your goal weight or any time in the future. The fact some people considering this surgery have this expectation or idea really surprises me. I just need to say this again gastric bypass is for life. You don’t get it done, lose weight and get put back to ‘normal’.

I think this is why it is such a huge decision to make in the initial stages. If you knew you could get it put back once you had reached your goal it wouldn’t be anywhere near as big of a commitment. I guess this is another thing that needs to be added to the education rhetoric about gastric bypass in particular. It’s not a reversible quick fix and that is really important for potential patients and the general public to realise.

Did you realise before reading this post that gastric bypass is not reversible? Let me know your thoughts below as always I’d love to hear from my lovely readers 😀

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There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Teresa at 8:32 am

    I guess generally people who are in the position of getting surgery have a very specific reason why they were unable to maintain weight loss in the first place — i.e. overeating for various reasons. So having it reversed (where possible) may very well result in going right back to where they started, depending on what the issues were! The trap that a lot of people fall into, myself included sometimes, is thinking that weight loss will be the magical cure-all for all of life’s problems. Yeah, it doesn’t work like that. Like you’ve probably said before, it’s a lifestyle, not a magic bullet.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 8:35 am

      Yes it does require a whole lifestyle change, weight loss surgery alone will not help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. You are so right in the fact that weight loss will not cure all of life’s problems!

  2. Ashleigh at 12:04 am

    Wow, I would not have thought that was a question you’d be asked, I’m really surprised! Your blog gives really good insight into an experience I’d otherwise have no clue about, it’s great!

  3. Anna at 12:46 pm

    Honestly I had no idea!! Hard to imagine living indefinitely so restricted I guess which is what makes you all the more amazing!

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