Bariatric Surgery/Gastric Sleeve


Does alcohol and the carbonation in it stretch the gastric sleeve?

Hello Tonya,

The first thing to know is that over time your sleeve will stretch some regardless. This is just natural as the tissues of the body tend to stretch and relax over time. It will not be able to stretch back to anything near the original size of your stomach prior to surgery.

The question about carbonation is very hard to answer. To the best of my knowledge there is no study that says that carbonation will stretch the sleeve or the gastric pouch in the case of gastric bypass surgery. However, many surgeons who are very respected in the field feel they have observed adverse affects in patients who regularly use carbonated beverages. Some theories are that if you drink cold soda as it warms in the sleeve/pouch the carbonation rapidly expands in restricted space and this extra pressure may lead to stretching, reflux and other challenges. Others have suggested that the combined volume/pressure of soda with food is the bigger problem.
So generally the advice is to avoid carbonation entirely in the early months after surgery, and to minimize intake for life.

Alcohol is a different story. I do not know of anything linking alcohol intake to stretching of the sleeve or gastric pouch. However, there is a lot of emerging cautionary data about use of alcohol after bariatric surgery. Post-op patients tend to get drunk faster than people who have not had surgery, may have higher blood alcohol levels than expected for the amount they have had to drink, and may be at increased risk for developing problem drinking even if they have not had a problem drinking in the past. Alcohol is also high in calories and has no real nutritional value, so may contribute to other problems like weight regain. Therefore with alcohol it is definitely proceed with caution.

I hope this helps. Your program dietitian or support group leader might be able to advise you more specifically if there are additional question that you have.

In Health,

Dr. Jacques

Bariatric Surgery

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Jacqueline Jacques, ND


My expertise is in nutrition and weight loss surgery. I can answer questions related to nutritional care, vitamins, deficiencies, diagnosis, treatment and management. I can answer nutrition questions related to any procedure: gastric bypass (RNY), duodenal switch, lap-band, etc


I have spent seven years working almost exclusinvely in the area of weight loss surgery and nutrition.

Bariatric Times, Beyond Change Obesity, WLS Lifestyles, Nutrition and the MD, OH Magazine

Awards and Honors
Health Professional of the Year 2004 - Bariatric Support Centers International

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