Yes, your stomach will stretch - realistic expectations

Valerie G.
on 7/24/14 2:12 am - Northwest Mountains, GA

I've seen way too many posts about sleevers freaking out because they can eat more food this year than they could last year or when they were a new post-op.  Perhaps the lack of old-timers on this forum with VSG.  I'm very surprised that they're at all surprised or concerned by this, so I thought I'd offer some wisdom from my 8.5 year old sleeve (for those of you who don't know, DSers have a sleeve stomach, too).

My original sleeve was not made with a bougie, so I couldn't give you a bougie size, but I can say that it was 3.38 oz according to the op report.  Today, some 8.5 years later, I can easily eat 6-8oz of food...more if it's moist and tender or full of sauce and gravy.  I can usually finish a small burger, or a few bites of a large one followed by a precise dissection to get the remaining protein, 4-5oz of steak and veggies or 1/2 a loaded potato, with a salad if timed out well enough.  Am I alarmed?  NO, because I was made well-aware that the stomach will stretch over time.  It will never be anywhere near the original size, but that tiny 3 bite restriction will not last forever.  If you find yourself able to eat twice as much this year as you could last year, know that this is perfectly normal, and that you need to be mindful of how you fill that 6-8oz.  

In that first year, you lose weight no matter what - which is why they call it a honeymoon period.  It only lasts about a year and then you have to work to lose any more after that.  It's not impossible, just not as easy, which is why some people are downright obsessive that first year to lose all they possibly can so regain afterwards can leave them still in a good place.   That brings up another thing -- regain.  Count on it.  I think 20-30% of ewl for sleeves is normal (may want to double-check that).  I gained back 15% and it came with boobs and the loss of anyone telling me I look like a scarecrow anymore.  

Not a big deal, guys.  Just understand what realistic expectations you have to look forward to so you're not freaking out and jumping on the revision train prematurely.

That is all - I hope this helps 

DS 2005

There is room on this earth for all of God's creatures..
next to the mashed potatoes

on 7/24/14 2:25 am - Eugene/Springfield, OR
VSG on 07/22/13

my surgeon said it would stretch to between 1-11/2 cup after around 1 year

I eat 4 oz of protein and around 1 cup of salad (it gets smaller when you chew it) for an average lunch or diner 

 breakfast is 2 eggs with ether cheese or smoked salmon(2 oz)


   175 lb  lost,412 hw 336sw,241 cw surgery July 22 2013,surgeon Dr Colin MacColl,







on 7/24/14 2:50 am

Thank you so much for your post Valerie - great to know.

on 7/24/14 2:54 am - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
VSG on 10/15/12

I've observed that people get worried about increased capacity too, but from my experience on this board, the message from people further out has been to expect things to get a lot harder the further out you get.

This is is why initial sleeve size and under eating your sleeve are important to long term success. To me, that continues to mean incorporating the habits that leave me less 'dependent' on sleeve capacity over time. I still weigh and measure my food - at least for now-  but suspect I will always need to keep a tight rein on my calories and get on the scale daily. 





Ht: 5'2" |  HW 225, BMI 41.2  |  CW 115, BMI 21.0

on 7/24/14 3:47 am - Yukon, OK

Thank you for sharing this information.  As someone who is considering this procedure it was good to hear about your experience.



on 7/24/14 3:46 am
VSG on 07/28/14

I think that it's important that people remember that all wls is just a tool.

on 7/24/14 8:04 am - Austin, TX
VSG on 05/01/14 with

Just like my ex-boyfriend.

DOB 1958, HT 5'4" . . . HW 310, SW 281, CW 184.3

M1 -25, M2 -7, M3 -11.9, M4 -7.6, M5 -11.8, M6 -9.6, M7 -1.7, M8 -10, M9 -5, M10 -5


on 7/24/14 9:01 am - Lewisville, TX
VSG on 02/29/12

OMG!!! LOL!! That is so awesome SK...xoxox!!


Barbara McKeown                                                                 
on 7/24/14 10:49 am, edited 7/24/14 10:51 am - TN
VSG on 01/14/14

Most awesome post ever!  Ex-boyfriend...tool...LMAO!


 M1 -26, M2 -14, M3 -14, M4 -12, M5 -12, M6 -11, M7 -10, M8 -12, M9 -5, Goal Reached 9 months and 14 days



on 7/24/14 12:22 pm - Austin, TX
VSG on 05/01/14 with

Sorry, couldn't resist ;)

DOB 1958, HT 5'4" . . . HW 310, SW 281, CW 184.3

M1 -25, M2 -7, M3 -11.9, M4 -7.6, M5 -11.8, M6 -9.6, M7 -1.7, M8 -10, M9 -5, M10 -5