The gastric sleeve: the reasons of failure for this surgery?

The treatment of obesity done by a gastrectomy sleeve offer excellent results. However, in some cases, regaining a large amount of weight or an insufficient loss of corporal mass can happen. The failure of this bariatric surgery is generally multi-factorial. Focus on the technical and behavioural causes.  

Failure post-operative of an obesity surgery

Before qualifying an operation as a failure, it needs to be defined as to what constitutes as a failure. After a bariatric surgery such as the gastrectomy sleeve, the loss of 50% of excess weight is considered in general as a success.

The ideal weight of a patient depends on several parameters and is not always feasible. Some patients can’t reach their objectives because of their metabolism or genetic predispositions of obesity. In addition, a slight gain in corporal mass over the long term is common and does not constitute a concern in itself. We must analyse each case to determine any dysfunctional factors.  

Technical problems due to a bariatric intervention

Like any obesity surgery, the longitudinal gastrectomy can fail because of surgical complications:  

  • The stomach could have been badly cut
  • It may happen that the sleeve expands with time
  • A reflux or a stomach steno can cause nutritional problems

A gastric bypass could be considered as a second intention to bring an efficient solution.

Mental well-being of a patient after a sleeve gastrectomy

Some patients live their bariatric operation a failure for purely psychological reasons. The personal perception of their body image is not integrated or not satisfying enough. The solution to obesity is then lived inconclusive. In this case, only a psychological support for the patient could help them visualize more positively the sleeve and its results.

A healthy lifestyle to fight against obesity

The treatment for obesity, no matter the type of bariatric surgery, is above all else a new start. New lifestyles in dietetic and psychological need to be adopted. A large amount of weight gain after obesity surgery happens for the following reasons:

  • An eating disorder (hyperphagia, bulimia, etc) 
  • A diet with too much fat or too much sugar
  • An absorption of large amounts of food
  • lifestyle non-adapted

global post-operative follow-up, including the bariatric surgeon, a dietician, a nutritionist and a psychologist, is essential and offers the best chances of success for the treatment.  

Would you like to receive complementary information on the sleeve and its results?  

Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Doctor Jacques Himpens, Doctor Anne-Catherine Dandrifosse, and their multi-disciplinary team in Liège and Brussels. We will not fail to answer your medical questions.

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