Carnie Wilson Shows That Weight Loss Surgery is No Miracle

MakenzieR on 3 Apr 2012 at 9:30am

Carnie Wilson weight lossIf you haven’t heard yet, singer Carnie Wilson recently spoke about her decision to have a second weight loss surgery. While 94% say gastric bypass was worth it for them, Carnie goes to show that it’s not a permanent solution for all.

After losing 150lbs from gastric bypass twelve years ago, Carnie gained most of it back in the past 6 years. Her decision to get the Lap Band in January 2012 has sparked many -- including us -- to ask questions about how and why someone would need a second weight loss procedure.

Isn’t weight loss surgery permanent?

“Weight regain after gastric bypass surgery occurs in 20-30% of patients,” says bariatric surgeon Dr. Shawn Garber.

Dr. Lloyd Stegemann explains why the first procedure might fail:

“Weight gain after weight loss surgery really falls into 2 broad categories:

1)  The surgery is failing the patient (aka anatomic failure). 
There are a number of anatomic and physiologic conditions that can occur that cause the patient to no longer have adequate hunger or volume control.  If present, these will very likely lead to weight regain.  Luckily these are pretty unusual and account for only about 5% of patients who regain weight after gastric bypass.  The downside is that if this IS the cause of the weight regain, it almost always requires a second operation to address the problem.

2)  The patient is failing the surgery (aka behavioral). 
This is the cause of weight regain in about 95% of gastric bypass patients.  The good news is that this is MUCH easier to fix and it doesn't require an operation!” 

gastric bypass before and afterHow can you eat too much if your stomach is smaller?

Plastic surgeon Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian says that “Patients who have undergone gastric bypass may continue to gain weight if they consume foods with a high calorie to volume ratio. Examples include protein shakes, milkshakes, or other foods with high calories without a lot of bulk or fiber.”

Carnie told People in 2010 "Having children derailed me a bit. I'm just frustrated with these pounds." So, it sounds like her weight gain may have been because she reverted to old habits.

Should you have the same type of procedure?

Not necessarily. “The Band over the Bypass is the best option for revision,” says Dr. Garber, whose practice specializes in gastric bypass revision.

While 20-30% seems like a high percentage of people who gain weight, there are no statistics on how many people get to the point of needing a second surgery. Roughly 200,000 Americans have weight loss procedures every year.

Still, Carnie’s story emphasizes something that Dr. Stegemann wants everyone to understand: “There is NO magic to weight loss surgery. By changing your anatomy we are able to better control your hunger and your portion sizes, but that's it!”

Hopefully the second time’s a charm for Ms. Wilson and her journey to a healthier self.

Comments (9)

It is a life change. One thing I did was go to counseling BEFORE I had the surgery because I knew my weight gain was emotional. My counselor said she wished more people would come in prior to surgery to "get rid of or lessen the baggage". I still go to counseling 2x a month. It has helped me tremendously!! I take my vitamins faithfully, I eat protein faithfully, I exercise about 4 days a week - will run my first 5K in September 2012! I am 120 pounds lighter and I love myself again.- this time from the inside out rather than the outside in!! GO to counseling several months prior to surgery! Best deciison I ever made!!!
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Thanks for sharing that, 2 years out. I agree that addressing the emotional causes of weight/food issues is really important. After years of dieting I finally started to analyze what drove me to over eat in the first place, and figuring that out made changing my habits so much easier! 

Congrats on all your success in becoming a healthier you. And good luck in that 5k!

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weight is not funny. its so hard to have control of something like weight. when food is your thing unlike drugs or cnat just put food down YOU HAVE TO EAT you can't just do a little crack when you are addicted to crack. I just wish she would stop with the surgeries and do more therapy to get over why she binges. Ive struggled with 30 to 50 lbs up and down all my life and its hard. Please jsut pray for these people instead of passing judgment. esp in their business my God people looking at you all day?
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Hey all! That picture of the girl in the before after is me. I have been able to maintain with a very minimal amount of bounce-back weight. Just as I said-you cannot expect to keep the weight off unless you deal with the issues that CAUSED the gain in the first place. There are some very clear guidelines and rules to follow. When these are followed-you are most certainly going to have success.

This is NOT some quick and easy answer. I took great care, concern and time in deciding to do this. I actually waited a very long time. This surgery is not a FIRST choice. This surgery is for those who have a very serious condition and where all other venues were tried. If you think you can get this surgery and somehow coast-you are very incorrect and it can be life threatening. Don't forget about the supplements we must take and the lifestyle changes we MUST make!

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Hi, Makenzie,
The first thing is to throw away the word "diet", . This is a lifestyle change. A lot of what I said above are what post-ops need to do for life. The surgery takes care of our bodies, but not our psyches - we have to take care of that part. Go to therapy, journal, do what you have to do to emotionally change your relationship with food. I'm a sugar addict so I work hard to stay away from what I call "gateway" foods - sugary foods where just one leads to many. Am I always successful? Nope. But, I have all the tools I need to keep the carb monster at bay. Some people think they can change their eating habits at six months post-op. Why? We are still bypassed, that hasn't changed. Why would we think we can add in more bad carbs or trigger foods? When I get terrible cravings for sweets, I work at reaching for a protein to fight the cravings. It's not fun eating sugar for days and then having to go through withdrawals. If I really want something sweet, and it has to be really small or I will "dump", I work it into my daily program. The program post-op is not physically difficult - protein first, foremost and always. Protein last much longer in curbing hunger and our bodies need it. Then a vegetable and maybe a fruit. For me, shakes are critical. I can't keep my levels high enough on solid protein alone. Watch out for low-fat foods. They are usually loaded with sugars. We absorb very little fat so I pay very little attention to fats. Milk is not a good protein source for us - why would you ingest something that has more sugar grams than protein grams? Be so aware of what is going into your body, keep on top of your labs, take your vitamins to keep your levels decent. Educate yourself. It really will become a habit and a way of life.
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I am coming up on eight years out from Gastric Bypass. I have maintained my loss and have recently lost more as I prepare for loose skin removal surgery. How? Simple. By owning the fact that life after the actual surgery requires a total lifestyle change. This surgery is no miracle cure, nor is it the easy way out. If you don't change your thinking/feelings/behavior around food, don't have this surgery. There is a recommended lifestyle change and I have followed it for eight years. Perfectly? Of course not. I'm human! I did have a 10# regain one time and it scared me silly. I had gone off my lifestyle change program and gained. Once back on my program, I lost the 10# and 15# more. First and foremost, we need protein. We absorb it the least and need it the most. Protein shakes DO NOT cause re-gain. I drink pre-digested, isolate whey, lo-carb/lo-sugar drinks every day. Usually 3-5. They give me energy, help with sugar/carb cravings, and keep my protein levels within normal range. They are supplements and not meal replacements. I take my vitamins and have my labs drawn every three months. Labs don't lie. I could go on and on, but bottom line, there is no reason for weight gain if you have nothing anatomically wrong with your surgery. Not at one year out, not at 10 years out. It's a lifestyle change - do it, and you will have success.
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Wow, congratulations! That's great that you've maintained so well. It really is like any other diet -- the surgery is just the kickstarter for life changes.

Do you have any tips for people who may be straying from their program?

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Over the years, Ms. Wilson has made it clear that Carnie is short for Carnivore.
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Most gastric surgery victims regain their weight within 5 to 7 years. I saw poor Carnie on Celebrity Wife Swap and she was gorging herself on cheese and processed food.
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