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Expectations After Weight Loss Surgery 

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Bariatric (weight loss) surgery is a life changing procedure that requires a great amount of effort even after the surgery. The amount of weight a patient loses following surgery depends on a several factors, including the patients physical health and weight prior to surgery, the type of weight loss procedure completed, and the patients ability and determination to follow their doctors orders and surgery specific recommended diet and exercise. We strongly encourage you to consult with your doctor and physician post surgery on what is the best plan for you after your weight loss surgery.

After Gastric Bypass Surgery

After gastric bypass, most patients can expect to lose 60 to 70 percent of their excess weight within the first year. Sixty to 70 percent of patients can expect to maintain their weight loss long term.

After Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

After sleeve gastrectomy, approximately two-thirds of patients can expect to lose 30 to 50 percent of their excess weight within the first year.

After Gastric Banding Surgery

After gastric banding, approximately two-thirds of patients can expect to lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight in the first two years.

Post-Bariatric Surgery Benefits

Most patients experience significant improvement or completely resolved obesity-related medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea, to name a few). All of these factors help to increase self-esteem and improve quality of life.

Maintaining the Weight Loss

Surgery does not guarantee patients long-term success. In order to achieve and maintain successful weight loss, patients must follow the program guidelines and modify their lifestyles and eating habits permanently. Some of the program recommendations include:

Main source of nutrition should be protein-containing foods, fruits, and vegetables.

Eating and drinking very slowly (small bites and sips).

Separating liquids from meals (do not drink for at least 30 to 45 minutes after each meal).

Drinking at least 64 ounces of water every day.

In addition to the water, sugar-free, caffeine-free, non-carbonated beverages may be used.

Avoiding concentrated sweets and high fat foods.

Taking daily supplements of multivitamins, calcium citrate, vitamin B12, protein and iron
(generally for menstruating women).

Slowly increasing physical activity, beginning with walking immediately following surgery.

Maintaining regular follow-up with your surgeon and dietitian.

Attending support group meetings.

Results to expect

Every patient's eating habits, exercise program and metabolism influence weight loss. Therefore, it is impossible to predict exactly how much weight a person will lose after surgery.

Gastric Bypass Patients

On average, gastric bypass patients can expect to lose about 15 to 20 pounds per month for the first three to four months. The weight loss will gradually taper as you reach your target weight. The significant decrease in appetite and the small gastric pouch are primarily responsible for the greater weight loss when compared to the Band patients. Furthermore, gastric bypass patients can experience very unpleasant side effects when they deviate from the recommended dietary regiments (i.e. dumping syndrome).

Gastric Banding Patients

Gastric banding patients can expect to lose about 6 to 10 pounds per month. Unlike the gastric bypass patients, gastric banding patients do not experience a significant decrease in appetite or unpleasant side effects if they deviate from the recommended dietary regiments. Remember that the band will only help controlling the food portion size and not the types of food. Therefore, the weight loss after surgery is generally slower.

Having healthy expectations 

Most obese people have medium-to-large body frames (bone and muscle). Reaching a so-called "ideal" body weight is unrealistic, and may even be dangerous. Fortunately, most people look and feel terrific at a 60 percent loss of excess weight. More importantly, they are much healthier after weight loss surgery.

Most obesity-related medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, will be improved or even cured after weight loss.

Remember, though, that obesity is a complex problem, one that is not cured solely by an operation. Keeping the weight off requires ongoing dietary, exercise and behavioral changes, as well as long-term participation in the program. Unfortunately, over time some patients will consume more food than their pouches are meant to hold. This can cause the pouch to stretch, which will result in weight gain.

It cannot be overemphasized that, in order to avoid stretching the pouch, it is better to consume frequent small meals (4-5 times per day) than to consume fewer large meals. Healthy snacks such as cheese sticks, carrots, celery, etc. can be consumed between the meals.

If you have any questions about what to expect after weight loss surgery, or would like to schedule a consultation with a weight loss surgeon, please call 1-800-SENTARA.

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