What is Revision Bariatric Surgery and How Does it Help with Weight Loss

Human Stomach detailed anatomy. Vector Medical illustration.

Some patients who have had weight loss surgery may relapse years later because of the type of procedure originally done to address obesity. Revision bariatric surgery is a type of corrective surgery done for patients who have complications or gained weight after their initial surgical procedure. It is meant to treat specific symptoms and help an individual lose weight again. According to health experts, surgical treatment is considered as the only effective approach for long-term weight loss for people living with severe obesity.

Although some people may lose a significant amount of weight after bariatric surgery, others may develop complications or experience weight gain hence the need for a revision bariatric surgery. In this article, we will be discussing the reasons for revision weight loss surgery, how it helps with weight loss, and when to revise a weight loss surgery.

Reasons for Revision Bariatric Surgery

  • Unresolved Conditions Related to Obesity

A revision bariatric surgery may be recommended if you have had bariatric surgery but you show no signs of losing weight or you are still at risk of diseases related to obesity. Some of the unresolved conditions or disorders that might cause life-threatening situations such as high blood pressure, respiratory problems, diabetes, heart disease, and high levels of cholesterol. Your bariatric surgeon may help you achieve your overall health and weight goals through a revision bariatric surgery.

  • Medical Complications

Some of the medical conditions that may occur after bariatric surgery include iron deficiency, malabsorption, metabolic bone disease, and ulcers. Stricture or scar tissue may build up after the surgery blocking important food passages in the digestive tract. These medical complications can be life threatening if nothing is done to address the issue. A revision bariatric surgery can help correct these problems as it focuses on restoring normal body functions and processes.

  • Anatomical Reasons

Initial bariatric surgery may fail to address a weight loss problem if it created a large gastric pouch or enlarged pouch opening. An increase in absorption of calories in the intestines can promote weight gain while a slipped gastric band can destroy the stomach tissue or cause nausea and vomiting. The formation of an opening between the bypassed stomach and the stomach pouch can cause abdominal pain, a rapid heart rate, and most importantly prevent weight loss.

How Revision Bariatric Surgery Helps With Weight Loss

A corrective weight loss surgery can have a good outcome if you have identified and addressed the primary problem related to your initial bariatric surgery. Your surgeon will have to run a diagnosis and carry out some tests to determine what is preventing your weight loss. This is the key starting point to a revision bariatric surgery as it is meant to correct an issue with the initial surgical procedure.

A revision bariatric surgery reduces the risk of diseases that cause obesity by improving the conditions that prevent you from losing weight. Regaining weight due to anatomical reasons is not considered a failure of the initial procedure since the stomach needs to adjust to the changes with time. Because of this reason, it may require a few adjustments along the way to achieve your weight goals.

Obesity is a chronic disease and its risks can only be reduced through a weight loss surgery. However, its success will depend upon your ability to stick to certain nutrition guidelines and lifestyle changes. Some patients find it difficult to cope up with these changes and may eventually gain considerable weight after the initial bariatric surgery. In this case, a patient may be required to go for a revision bariatric surgery after which they may be given nutritional advice and medical support to help them deal with the new changes. A revision bariatric surgery helps to solve any medical complications, anatomical changes and unresolved conditions related to obesity thus promoting weight loss.

What is the Recovery Time for Revision Surgery?

The recovery time for revision surgery may be shorter or longer than the original weight loss surgery depending on whether it was addressing an altered blood supply, a scar tissue or other medical complications. However, you may be required to stay in the hospital for a minimum of three days to be monitored. Most patients often resume their normal schedules in a few weeks.

A revision bariatric surgery does not guarantee that you will lose a significant amount of weight than you did in your initial surgical procedure. However, it helps promote long-term weight loss by correcting the issues that might have occurred with your initial bariatric surgery. It is also important to consider other factors that facilitate weight loss after a bariatric procedure such as long-term behavioral changes in your nutrition and general lifestyle.