Do You Lose Weight After Linx Surgery: What Is the Downside?

woman weight loss linx surgery

The LINX Reflux Management System is a promising new option for managing gastroesophageal reflux disease. While many patients find relief from uncomfortable symptoms, some wonder how LINX surgery impacts weight.    

woman weight loss linx surgery

So, do you lose weight after Linx surgery? Not immediately. Weight loss is common after LINX surgery. The implantation of the magnetic ring leads to some eating changes that can impact body weight. Most patients end up losing between 10-15 pounds in the first few months as they adjust to their new diet and swallowing capabilities. 

Once the recovery period ends and a regular diet resumes, weight may typically stabilize again. So, while it will cause immediate weight loss, the aftermath can cause you to shed some. 

Does Acid Reflux Surgery Make You Lose Weight?

The Linx procedure is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It involves placing a small band of magnetic beads around the lower esophageal sphincter to help prevent stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus.

Many Linx patients notice significant relief from chest pain, heartburn, and acid reflux symptoms soon after surgery. 

But does the acid reflux surgery procedure also lead to weight loss? While weight loss is not the surgery’s primary goal, some patients tend to lose a small amount of weight after their acid reflux procedure[1]. The surgery doesn’t offer immediate weight loss benefits, but its post-surgery benefits do. There are a few reasons why this may occur:

  • Less Reflux Leads to Better Eating Habits

For many severe GERD patients, years of constant heartburn, regurgitation, and discomfort can disrupt healthy eating patterns. After the Linx procedure, as reflux symptoms subside, patients often find they can eat more regular meals and snacks throughout the day instead of larger, infrequent meals. This more balanced approach to eating can aid in weight loss.  Also read: Do you Lose Weight After A Colonoscopy?

  • Calorie Intake Reduction

One of the primary mechanisms by which acid reflux surgery may lead to weight loss is through reduced calorie intake. The Linx device works by tightening around the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter. This can slow the transit of food and make patients chew their food longer before swallowing. 

Together, these effects may result in patients eating smaller portions and consuming fewer calories overall. Over time, this reduction in daily caloric intake can translate into modest weight loss. Also read: Does Sleeping With A Waist Trainer Help With Weight Loss?

  • Changes in Absorption

The implant placed around the lower esophageal sphincter during Linx surgery may slightly alter how food empties from the stomach and enters the small intestine. Some studies have found that patients experience slightly impaired absorption of nutrients after the procedure. This potential for minor malabsorption of calories may also contribute to weight loss following Linx surgery.

  • Adjustments in Hormones

The Linx device and procedure may impact the release of hormones that regulate appetite and satiety. For example, the hunger hormone ghrelin levels may decrease while the satiety hormone PYY may increase after surgery. These hormonal changes can make patients feel less hungry and more full after meals, aiding in weight loss. However, more research is needed in this area.

  • Alterations in Eating Habits

Many Linx patients report avoiding acidic, spicy, or heavy foods that can trigger reflux symptoms. These adjustments in food preferences and eating behaviors after surgery – gravitating toward lighter, healthier options – likely complement the physiological factors promoting modest weight loss.

  • Improved Sleep

Sleep issues caused by reflux can disrupt hormones related to appetite and satiety. Once reflux is under control with Linx, better quality sleep may make patients feel less hungry during the day.

While weight loss is not guaranteed after Linx surgery, for some patients, the combination of these factors can result in a small amount of weight loss over time – around 5%-10% of their initial body weight on average. 

Anything more substantial would likely require changes to diet and exercise habits. But for many Linx patients, simply gaining relief from reflux symptoms and improving their quality of life is reward enough.

How Much Weight Do You Lose After GERD Surgery?

The initial weight loss is mostly water weight and loss of gut contents due to the nil per os (nothing by mouth) period before surgery and restricted diet after surgery. This accounts for around 3-5 lbs of the total weight loss.

Reduced lean body mass also contributes to weight loss. The catabolic state, after surgery, breaks down muscle tissue to provide amino acids for healing and energy. This can cause the loss of 2-4 lbs of muscle mass.

Fat loss makes up for the remaining weight loss. Patients generally lose around 2-3 lbs of fat in the first few weeks due to the lower calorie intake and increased metabolism.

The weight loss peaks around 2-4 weeks after surgery and then gradually declines as patients resume a normal diet. Most patients reach their pre-surgery weight within 3-6 months.

The key to minimizing weight loss is gradually advancing the diet when the patient is ready. Clear liquids can usually be started within hours of surgery, and then soft/pureed foods within a few days if there are no complications.

Aggressive management of nausea, vomiting, and dysphagia can help patients eat more and lose weight. Medications and dietary adjustments are used as needed.

For patients who lose significant weight, nutritional supplementation through liquid meal replacements, high-calorie snacks, and protein shakes can help them achieve adequate caloric intake.

Long-term weight loss is uncommon after GERD surgery. Most weights regain occurs as symptoms improve, diet normalizes, and patients’ activity levels return to pre-surgery status.

So, in summary, up to 15 lbs of initial weight loss is normal but temporary. With good symptom control, gradual diet advancement, and nutritional supplementation if needed, patients can usually stabilize their weight and regain what they lost within a few months. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Does Your Stomach Stay Small After Acid Reflux Surgery

Not quite! After undergoing acid reflux surgery, the size of your stomach may remain largely unaffected. Fundoplication surgery and LINX surgery largely aim to correct issues that cause acid reflux, like a weak lower esophageal sphincter or hiatal hernia, rather than altering the size of your stomach.

Fundoplication surgery involves wrapping part of the stomach around the lower esophagus to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent stomach acid from refluxing. However, this procedure does not directly impact the size of your stomach.

Similarly, LINX surgery involves implanting a magnetic ring around the lower esophageal sphincter to reinforce it and prevent acid reflux. Yet, this procedure also leaves the size of your stomach unchanged. Read: What To Do When Someone Wants You To Lose Weight?

While these procedures aim to relieve acid reflux symptoms and improve esophageal function, they are not designed to alter stomach size.

Will I eat More after Acid Reflux Surgery Recovery?

Yes – you may eat more after you have recovered fully form an acid reflux surgery. 

Following acid reflux surgery, it is common for patients to experience changes in their appetite and eating habits. The surgery aims to alleviate symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease by reducing stomach acid. This can impact digestion and the body’s signals relating to hunger and fullness.

In the initial recovery period after surgery, some patients may experience a reduced appetite due to side effects from anesthesia, medications, and inflammation at the surgical site. Nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and lack of interest in food can reduce calorie intake in the first few days or weeks.

However, as the recovery proceeds and symptoms improve, many acid reflux patients may begin to eat more than before the surgery. This counterintuitive increase in appetite and intake could be due to a few reasons.

Once reflux symptoms are reduced or resolved, patients tend to feel more comfortable eating without fear of pain or issues. This can lead to overeating. The surgery alters how food moves through the digestive tract, which can impact fullness cues. Food may clear the stomach more quickly, resulting in a persistent feeling of hunger.

Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, may increase following weight loss during recovery. Leptin, the satiety hormone, could decrease. Both hormones influence appetite. Some patients associate the surgery with a “new start” and change their entire mindset around eating, leading them to overindulge.

Conclusion

Do you lose weight after Linx surgery? No. While weight loss is not the primary goal of Linx surgery, many patients do experience some weight loss in the first few months after the procedure. However, weight typically stabilizes once a regular diet resumes. It’s important to note that the benefits of Linx surgery go beyond weight loss, as it can provide significant relief from gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

Medical Discalimer: The information provided here On Geeks Health website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider. Reliance on any information in this response is solely at your own risk.
Vanessa Roberts
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