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.