Most patients lose between 60% and 85% of their excess body weight by 2 years.
Patients who gained their excess weight after age 18 often achieve the weight of their high school years. Those who were heavy in high school often achieve less weight loss.
About 9 out of 10 patients will lose more than 50% (half) of the excess weight by the end of the first year after surgery.
About 1 out of 10 patients will lose less than 50% of the excess weight, although those who lose less still have improvement in weight-related health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Patients may gain weight after their initial weight loss if they are not compliant with their diet, exercise, and follow-up regimens. Weight loss depends on numerous factors, including follow-up, following dietary guidelines, and exercise.
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension (high blood pressure) improves in most patients after bariatric surgery, often within a few days after surgery.
Hypertension resolves completely in about 75% of patients and is improved in an additional 10%. Some patients may still need medical treatment of their high blood pressure, but with fewer medications than before surgery or at lower doses.
High Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
About 80% of patients who have high cholesterol or triglyceride levels will have normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a few months after bariatric surgery.
Hormonal changes occur soon after bariatric surgery that lead to improved blood sugar control in diabetic patients. Type 2 diabetes mellitus resolves completely in about 85% of patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Most patients are able to completely discontinue their diabetic medications soon after gastric bypass surgery, before dramatic weight loss occurs.
Patients who still need medications (including insulin) to control diabetes after bariatric surgery find they are able to gain better control of their blood sugars with smaller doses.
It is very important for diabetic patients to monitor their blood sugars daily after gastric bypass surgery, because blood glucose levels can become normal within a few days after surgery. Diabetic patients may be discharged from the hospital on insulin for the first week after surgery. No medical treatment for diabetes can achieve as complete and profound an effect as bariatric surgery
Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Most patients stop snoring within a few months after weight-loss surgery.
Quality of Life
Patients find that they have overall better quality of life after surgery: meeting the challenges (social, emotional, and psychological) that they faced before surgery becomes much easier.
- Patients begin to get around easier and feel confident in facing certain public situations.
- Patients feel better about themselves and their self-esteem improves.
- Others take on new hobbies, such as traveling, that they never thought were possible before surgery.
- Many patients feel they have a “new lease on life”.
- Patients can wear the clothes they want to wear, not the ones they have to wear.
- Patients can participate in activities with their families, such as going on amusement park rides, and enjoy everyday activities.
- Most patients notice improved levels of energy due to their weight loss. They feel they are no longer “carrying around an extra person”.