Is Bariatric Surgery Reversible? Is a Gastric Bypass Reversible?

Bariatric surgery refers to procedures that promote weight loss by restructuring your digestive system. Even though the majority of these weight loss surgeries have resulted in successful weight loss, severe complications from the bariatric surgery or a lack of success in attempting to lose weight may mean that the patient wants to reverse the procedure. If you have had bariatric surgery or are considering it, you may be wondering if a bariatric procedure is reversible.

What Factors Influence Weight Loss Surgery Reversibility?

Because of the differences in each bariatric surgery, it is achievable to reverse certain weight loss procedures but not others, a reversal has a higher risk of complications. Other surgical operations are deemed irreversible, especially if a portion of the stomach was removed during the procedure. Weight loss procedures that involve a device such as a band or an intragastric balloon may have lower reversal chances than surgeries that do not.

Reversible Bariatric Procedures vs. Permanent Bariatric Procedures


Gastric Bypass Surgery 

The most frequent type of bariatric operation is gastric bypass surgery, which is performed in two stages. The first phase includes the formation of a tiny pouch, whereas the second phase is concerned with linking the pouch to the small intestine. Gastric bypass reversal is technically possible, however, it involves extensive sophisticated surgery that can be difficult to do. It is frequently thought to be irreversible since it shrinks the stomach, reorganizes the digestive system, and produces several changes in gut hormones.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical technique that curves out a bigger section of the stomach. This makes reversing the surgery difficult since the missing piece can never be put back into its original position. Although it may be beneficial to the patient for weight loss, it is an operation that cannot be reversed.

Gastric Band Adjustment

Gastric band surgery, also called gastric banding, is a minor weight loss surgery that may be reversed by removing the implanted device. Although bariatric patients can undergo subsequent procedures to alter or reposition the band, it can remain in place for an extended period of time until the patient is confident enough to lose weight without the band’s assistance.

Duodenal Switch 

This form of bariatric surgery alters the digestive tract so that food may bypass a bigger part of the small intestine. Because of the difficulty of this weight loss surgery and the removal of a bigger piece of the digestive system, a duodenal switch is irreversible. Although re-arrangements may be made to mimic normal food transit, significant compromises must be made to make this happen, making the subsequent surgeries riskier.

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Is It Safe to Undo Bariatric Surgery/Gastric Bypass Surgery?

The short answer is yes, some gastric bypass surgeries can be reversed. However, reversing it would involve a procedure of equal or greater magnitude and risk than the original. Reduced blood flow and scar tissue are two variables that make surgical reversal difficult. Several studies have found that individuals who had surgical reversals had great results. Other techniques, on the other hand, are considered dangerous and impractical if they cannot be reversed in principle.

How Do I Schedule a Bariatric Surgery Appointment?

Dr. Rodriguez will go over the bariatric procedure in detail, including the benefits and drawbacks of gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. Make a weight loss procedure appointment with the VIDA Bariatrics team!