Can Your Stomach Stretch After Gastric Sleeve?

The stomach in the human body is made out of tissues that expand when it receives a certain portion of food. Can the stomach stretch after gastric sleeve surgery? Yes, it can and it is normal. But there is a difference between when it is normal and if it is due to a few complications.

A stretched stomach can also cause potential problems if there are larger than usual portions of food laying on the stomach walls. This consistency could cause many unpleasant results in the long run, but also, it is never too late to fix the issue.

This article will give you a better understanding of the reasons, complications, solutions, and how to prevent stomach stretch. 

Can you stretch your stomach after gastric sleeve?

Can you stretch your stomach after gastric sleeve? Simply yes, and if you have any concerns if you think you’re eating more than usual, it is normal to a certain point if you start tolerating slightly bigger portions. However, if you have any concerns, reach out to your doctor for check-ups. There are many possible reasons for stomach stretches, it could be due to overeating, eating larger plates, or possible misleading approaches.

The idea of stomach stretching is possible based on natural circumstances when time passes by and with different food stages you go through. However, there is a line between when it naturally happens or if it’s due to getting out of the diet line such as eating higher quantity food instead of quality food. Even if your type of food intake is nutritious, once you feel full, you need to put the spoon down and stop eating.

How can you tell if you stretched your stomach?

How do you know if you stretch your stomach after gastric sleeve? Stomach stretches in half a year normally with the food staging periods and more acceptance after healing stomach. The abnormalities of the stomach stretching are unconscious and unintentional. Monitoring and maintaining the diet deflects the negative side effects. Check this table as a differentiation between the norms:

stomach stretch after gastric sleeve
  1. Over time, you can have bigger portions of food but to a limited extent which helps maintain body essentials balanced. However, if your consumption causes unsatisfactory and feel hungry in a short period of time then you need to evaluate your diet.
  2. In normal and successful circumstances you will still be able to lose weight in the long term. Otherwise, you need to re-evaluate your lifestyle. However, it is normal not to lose and stay on the same weight for a while but if you lack progress, it is best to visit your dietician or doctor for a check-up.
  3. A stretched stomach is normal and normally hunger causes tiredness, be aware of irrational approaches to food portions. If the case turns to overeating in a repetitive pattern, it causes binge eating.
  4. Stomach sensitivity lowers when it heals and you can eat more comfortably. Chewing thoroughly is a must to avoid dumping syndrome, it will indirectly force your stomach to stretch and cause potential problems.

It is best to contact your dietitian if you are facing problems with your lifestyle. They will come with feedback after evaluating your personal case and put an end to the causes if it is affecting you negatively. 

What are the causes of stomach stretching?

The gastric sleeve stretch of the stomach tissue is normal, in fact, it can stretch and be squeezed over day and night. Yet the negative point of view of this could be due to mismanagement in the pyramid scheme of food choice. This doesn’t only include the substances eaten but also how excessively eaten is on daily bases. Here are a few causes we should avoid to prevent stomach stretching:

  • Overeating
  • Drinking with meals
  • Snacking over the limit
  • Lack of physical activity

The combination of misleading actions would increase the stomach capacity because it confuses the hunger hormone and causes difficulties with post-op guidance. If you see yourself struggling with such a case, get in touch with your dietary team to set daily calorie goals, and revive the weight loss goals.

Can you fix stomach enlargement?

You can most definitely fix stomach enlargement and it takes a few steps to follow to have that problem to be under control. Yet it is a challenging phase because the hunger hormone tells your brain that you need to satisfy its needs. 

In order to fix the stomach enlargement you need to stick to the diet and exercise plans given right after the surgery. Accordingly, it will fight any flows by fixing your choice of food intake, as well as food portions. Aside from what goes in the stomach, regular exercising helps significantly from many angles. You might as well seek some professional support from your dietitian and nutritionist for an overall personal evaluation.

What to do if you stretch your stomach?

It is important to know that stomach stretching is very normal in general even if it happens post-gastric sleeve surgery. The safest approach for trusted feedback is by consulting your doctor or surgeon, you can explain your issue. Based on your personal file and history, your healthcare provider will give advice to be back on track. Here are some of the checklists you might want to reevaluate and update if needed:

Initial diet program: See if your portion and quality of the food match the guided version that is given by your doctor or dietitian. It is important to keep trans fats, sugary beverages, and innutritious food out of your system for various reasons. Stretching your stomach is one of them. 

Exercise program: Physical activity on daily bases will both physically and mentally be satisfied with yourself and feel fulfilled and keep your stomach in shape.

Sleeping schedule: Sleeping doesn’t directly affect the stomach stretching directly, but it leads to irrigation in hunger, emotional eating, morning motivation, and energy downgrading. 

Seeking support from your dietitian or nutritionist by giving your day-to-day routine will help to evaluate and give proper feedback. Accordingly, there will be more specified advice, consider it as a pouch reset diet.

How to prevent stomach stretch after your surgery?

Picture the stomach as a culture that you have to pay respect to in order to prevent stretching problems. The way you can honor the culture would be by chewing well for better digesting, regulating portion size, daily hydration, and responsible snacking.

These actions must be taken in general and not only for bariatric surgery patients, but it is more mandatory after weight loss surgery. Your lifestyle after surgery changes 180°, following these guidelines will keep your stomach in good health status. Let’s talk about those guidelines more in-depth.

Chew well for better digestion

Why do we need to chew well before swallowing food? Well, digestion has two stages, oral and in your guts, you need to manually digest the food into tiny bits so your stomach can handle those small bits without issues.

Chewing food well has many layers of benefits and prevention of complications. If your stomach handles poorly chewed food, you will upset it and usually feel bloated after a meal. Furthermore, chewing well will help your intestines absorb and break down food easier. The list goes on and on, but mainly, chewing food well will keep your stomach volume unchanged.

Regulate your portion sizes

Based on your stomach size post-op, your doctor recommends a specific amount of food per meal. Generally, the food portion is between 3-4 ounces, but it may differ based on one’s gender, overall health status, and more.

After gastric sleeve surgery, it is normal to be not able to eat as much food as before, but after a while when you recover, you can tolerate more food. Always regulate your portion sizes as it is recommended by your surgery team, doctor, or dietitian. You might see other patients might have different portions recommendation, which may be due to sleeved stomach size. Bariatric patients somewhat have different stomach sizes and according to personal condition, there are personal guidelines.

Have snacks between meals

When it comes to snacking post-op, it is very limited but that doesn’t mean you can enjoy something nice and sweet. You can have snacks between meals if you feel like it, however, make sure what goes in your body is nutritious and not artificial sweets. 

There are many snacking options, but also let’s always be aware of the portion as well. You can have a piece of fruit, sugar-free chocolate bars, or a non-sweet beverage like decaf coffee, etc. However, artificial sugars such as soda drinks, also, alcoholic beverages are never recommended by doctors. Mainly the chosen item must be beneficial to maintain body essentials balanced.

There could be many options given in your post-op guidance otherwise you can have a safe choice and consult your doctor about it.

Make sure you drink enough water

Make sure you drink enough water starting from day one post-op, it is important to wash down leftover meds and anesthesia out of your system and dehydration prevention. The benefits list goes on and on but can water stretch your stomach after gastric sleeve? No, water won’t cause any stomach pouch stretching.

You need 1.5-2 liters per day once you fully recovered from the surgery, which makes 6-8 glasses of water per day. Drinking water in the early stages helps to heal the stomach tissues, and reduce infection risks especially when the wounds are not fully healed and sensitive. People should not worry if it stretches the stomach after gastric sleeve surgery. Just make sure you have small sips of water when you hydrate yourself.

Vinolas H, Barnetche T, Ferrandi G, et al. Oral Hydration, Food Intake, and Nutritional Status Before and After Bariatric Surgery. Obes Surg. 2019;29(9):2896-2903. doi:10.1007/s11695-019-03928-y

Ivezaj V, Kessler EE, Lydecker JA, Barnes RD, White MA, Grilo CM. Loss-of-control eating following sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2017;13(3):392-398. doi:10.1016/j.soard.2016.09.028

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