Expected Weight Loss Following Bariatric Surgery
It is important to have realistic expectations about weight loss following bariatric surgery. Although it is possible for patients to lose 50 to 80 percent of their excess body weight and attain most if not all of their health goals, not all patients are able to achieve a perfect or ideal shape. The rate at which individuals lose weight differs and the ultimate success of weight loss surgery depends on the procedure, how well you follow your diet and exercise program and what you consider to be successful.
Weight loss typically begins in the first weeks following surgery, and many patients lose two to three pounds a week during the first year. Weight loss usually slows at 12 to 18 months after surgery; some patients even regain some weight at this point. Weight typically stabilizes two to three years after surgery. During this time, you will likely see that most of your obesity related diseases will improve or go away. Diabetes, a chronic condition, may go into remission (it cannot be cured in the traditional sense), for example.
Bypass vs. Sleeve vs. Banding Surgery for Weight Loss
Typical weight loss patterns vary greatly depending on the type of surgery that is performed. Gastric bypass patients tend to lose weight faster than gastric sleeve or gastric banding patients, especially during the first year. Over the longer-term, gastric bypass and sleeve patients see a similar degree of weight loss, while banding patients will have somewhat more modest overall excess body weight loss.
Regardless of the short term weight loss results, it is important to focus on long-term and weight loss management, and most bariatric surgery patients have the potential to see excellent results within two years of surgery. These results will last as long as the patient maintains their new, healthier lifestyle.
With the above being said, patients should understand that weight loss is not the only measure of success. The improvement or resolution of obesity related diseases (co-morbidities), including diabetes, acid reflux, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and high blood pressure is similarly important. Certain procedures lend themselves to a patient’s particular ailment. For example, those who have severe type 2 diabetes or acid reflux may benefit most from a gastric bypass.
Ultimately, we encourage you to do your research online and by speaking to other bariatric surgery patients. However, your consultation with one of our surgeons will give you the best idea of what to expect after surgery, based on your particular circumstance.