* This is the first feature in what will be a new strand of what we hope will be helpful features for those who are considering weight-loss surgery or who are early post-op and still have many questions to ask. It will also be useful for those long-termers who want to go back and refresh themselves with the basics. For the latest in this category simply look under the Bariatric Beginnings category.
Even though the emphasis is on better health, most pre-surgery patients want to know how much weight they can expect to lose with the typical band, sleeve and bypass surgery operation.
How much weight patients lose varies widely, depending upon many factors, such as the patient’s age, starting weight, ability to exercise, and the type of operation used. On average, patients lose one-half to two-thirds of their initial excess weight at the end of one year. Initially heavier patients tend to lose more actual pounds, but lighter patients are more likely to come closer to their ideal weight.
Figures from a study at Columbia University Department of Surgery demonstrated that the average patient lost 70% of their excess weight, and over 95% of the patients lost at least 50% of their excess body weight with a gastric bypass. Gastric Lap Band patients lost on average 50% of their excess weight, although 70% excess weight-loss was not unusual depending upon the patients’ motivation.
So there are variations with procedure, but more importantly it seems that changing lifestyle and habits had a major contributory factor. University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust state that weight loss surgery still requires you to eat less by reducing food intake but also to increase exercise. If you don’t stick to this then there is a risk of poor weight loss and weight regain. The primary aim of any bariatric team is to solve the problems caused by obesity and not specifically to get you to your ideal weight. If you lose more than 50% of your excess weight and it doesn’t come back on again this will be classed as a success.
In general, weight loss is faster after gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgery with most of the weight lost in the first 6 months and stabilising after 12-18 months. Gastric band surgery causes a slower more gradual but steady weight loss.
The weight loss is always good news but you can also expect some or all of your obesity-related medical problems to improve. Some patients are even able to discontinue their medications for diabetes and high blood pressure shortly after surgery.