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Gaining weight after surgery

Hi all. So prior to herniating my disc I was working really hard on my diet and exercise. It was going great. The weight was steadily coming off, I was feeling so good about myself and had loads of energy. Then the tables turned and I ended up bed ridden for several months. I still continued to lose weight, I think my motabolism kept going even though I was seditary. I also wasn't eating very much because I was extremely depressed. I know some of the weight loss was muscle, my legs have lost a lot of muscle. So in total I lost about 45 pounds pre op. It's only been 5 days since surgery and I've packed on 6 pounds. My eating has been a bit out of control, I'm constantly hungry which was the complete opposite before. Before surgery I was hardly hungry. I only ate maybe once or twice a day and I would get full very fast off of small amounts of food. I know it's pretty soon after surgery and it could all just be a combination of things but I just thought about something in particular. Steroids.

Now I haven't had steroids since I was a kid. I had a bee sting and they gave me steroids to help the swelling but it actually made it worse so since then I've tried to steer clear of it. Even when I was offered steroid injections for the hernia I refused. When I had surgery 5 days ago he did say he put some steroids in me before he closed up my incision to help with the swelling. Anyone think that the steroids and my constant hunger could be related? Or maybe the drugs? Anethesia? I'm also taking Dilauded for pain. Just curious if anyone else has experienced this after surgery. Maybe it's just that my happiness is coming back and so is my appetite lol. 

I worked so hard before all of this to lose weight and I was so happy that I kept it off all this time, it's very discouraging that it's coming back now. I'm definitely going to crack down on my eating habits and make sure I'm eating healthy from here on out but the constant hunger I find a bit weird. 



  • Gabriellax92Gabriellax92 Posts: 76
    edited 07/30/2019 - 11:31 AM

    See I could totally understand both of those factors if I had started gaining weight 3 months ago when I became seditary but instead I still continued to lose weight over the past 3 months even while being bed ridden. It just seems that these past 5 days after surgery that I've noticed to really be packing on the pounds. And yes, I've been taking Neurotin for the past few months and continue to take them. I really have a feeling it may be the steroids or possibly just my mood improvement since surgery. I really hope I don't continue to gain weight though unless it's just muscle lol

  • I gained almost 10 pounds within a few days of surgery.  I think some of it is the anesthesia. 

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  • @sstarl1324 glad to know I'm not the only one! :)

  • Me too.  My disc reherniated Friday and have surgery again Monday AM.  Hopefully this time the recovery will be smoother.  I'll let you know if I can 10 more pounds after surgery.

  • @sstarl1324 good luck! Sending you positive vibes and best wishes for a smooth recovery.

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  • They pump you full of a lot of fluids in the hospital too. I remember after one surgery I came home weighing 13 lbs more than when I went in! Within a few days it was gone. 

    I'm sure once you are able to get moving more and can ditch the meds you'll get back to losing. Best wishes! 

  • Hi Gabriellax92

    I requested that no steroids were used during this surgery, because of my previous weight gain after my last two surgeries.

    I had mixed discussion with different doctors about steroids and weight gain.  Some flatly denied any connection, which just made me feel like a fatty, who was just eating too much.  I have always had a midline BMI, perfect reading and never had any weight gain all my life apart from during pregnancies.

    After this surgery I have lost 9lbs already, so hoping this is the start of my weight loss.  I have not changed anything I eat, same portion sizes etc, so, for me personally, avoiding the steroids may have made a difference.

    However, in your case, you have lost 45 pounds, so it maybe that due to reduce pain, depression levels reducing etc, maybe this could be your actual normal weight increasing if you were ideal weight before that large weight loss.  Wish I had lost that before, because that is about what I gained!

    Just concentrate on your healing and let your body finds its own balance, with the help of good food, walking and rest when needed.

    Take care


  • @star0210 I never thought about the fluids, good point. I think I'm nearing my 'time of month' also so could definitely be it.

    @ajgormit I had told them about my possible allergy and they did say they were going to try and keep me away from steroids and even put an allergy bracelet on me but I guess when the surgeon heard the story he didnt think it would harm me and put steroids in anyways. I guess he was right because allergic reaction. Maybe they were different kinds of steroids. Also I lost 45 pounds but my real goal is about 90-100. I gained a ton of weight when I started my desk job, also quit smoking at the same time so I sort of spriralled out of control. So if you can understand why I'm so paranoid about putting the weight back on. This situation alone was a major setback because I was just getting into being active and healthy prior to the herniated disc and I was doing great with it. 

  • Depending on the type of surgery you have along with the medications you take, fluid retention is not uncommon.  When they operate, usually you get swelling in that area.  Swelling is fluid retention (for a good reason in this case).  As your swelling goes down, your weight probably will as well.  As Ron said, certain nerve meds and steroids will cause some weight gain for most people.

    I wouldn't stress out about it.  Once you start getting to rehab, you'll drop the weight pretty fast.  I weighed 194 the day of surgery and when I went back to work without restrictions I was down to 170.


  • Update: I'm about 6 weeks out of surgery now and I'm doing pretty great. I still have slight nerve pain down my right leg but I only feel it if I stretch a certain way. I have been doing lots of walking, my appetite has certainly increased with that. I have gained a total of 10 pounds since surgery. I'm trying to go the opposite direction and continue to lose weight as I am overweight. Watching my eating habits has been very hard especially since I'm doing so great now everyone wants to see me (usually involves going out to eat). I missed all the summer fun from being layed up in bed so I feel like I need to try and cram it all in before it gets cold out. My biggest frustration though is not being able to work out like I used to. I know I'll get there some day but right now walking is just not cutting it. I have to be super strict on my diet now because I can't compensate going over on calories by doing a hard exercise. Ugh... The struggles of being overweight and loving food

  • This thread uplifts me for some reason knowing that I am not the only one having the same situation. Anyways, my suggestion would be that you need to be more active? Limit the amount of food also.

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