It is normal to want to know how much weight you can expect to lose when planning to undergo a type of weight loss surgery. Knowing how much weight you can expect to lose is an important part of setting realistic expectations and goals for your weight loss beginning after your surgery.
Weight loss is essentially guaranteed with gastric bypass, but not how much. The amount of weight you can lose with this surgery will depend on several factors, including the success of the surgery and the success of your nutrition and exercise plan. Making lifestyle changes is essential for continued weight loss and keeping the weight off.
Gastric Bypass Average Excess Weight Loss
Most studies have shown that an average weight loss to expect is between 65 and 70% of your excess weight with gastric bypass surgery. It is important to understand that there is a difference between your starting weight and your excess weight, and you will not lose 70% of your starting weight total. As such, you need to make some calculations when determining how much weight you can potentially use. Begin with your current weight, and then subtract your healthy goal weight.
Once you have your excess weight amount, you can determine how much weight you can potentially lose. The reason why this is measured in a percentage (65-70%) is that everyone can expect the same basic level of weight loss, but the actual numbers will be distinct to each individual patient.
How Much to Expect
- If you are 250 lbs. and 104.4 lbs. of that is excess weight, then a 65% weight loss will amount to 68 lbs. of weight loss.
- If you are 400 lbs. and 205.3 lbs. of that is excess weight, then 65% weight loss will amount to a 133 lbs. weight loss.
- As you can see, the numbers themselves can vary depending on starting and goal weights, but the percentage of weight loss remains the same.
Once you know how much weight you can potentially lose, you can set healthy and realistic goals and begin to pursue a healthy and more nutritious and fitness-filled lifestyle.
Long-Term Studies on Weight Loss
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health and its 15 year study on gastric bypass patients, long-term weight loss success and results are achievable. The study looked at the patient’s outcomes after a long time to see how much they have lost after surgery and how much they actually kept off over a long time (sometimes 10 years).
The study itself looked at 3,227 patients who had gastric bypass surgery with an average body mass index of slightly over 43 and an average age of 47. 714 of these patients, or 22.1%, completed the entire 10-year follow-up period. Within 15 years after their gastric bypass procedure, 47.1% of all excess weight loss was maintained by these patients.
Ultimately these statistics show a high success rate for gastric bypass surgery. It’s important when looking at expected weight loss studies that you look at not only the short-term weight loss but how much weight loss is actually maintained. This is because obesity is a life-threatening condition that can lead to many serious diseases and conditions. This means keeping the weight off is imperative for optimal health.
In this study, the mortality rate is low for gastric bypass surgery at just under .2%. Nearly 40% of all gastric bypass patients lost excess weight and kept it off after the study’s 10-year period mark.
Long-Term Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery has many long-term benefits for patients. It can dramatically change the lives of those who choose to have it. Most patients who have the surgical procedure experience up to a 70% loss of excess body weight. This is important for those who have obesity-related medical conditions and are looking to improve or resolve their issues with weight loss.
Ultimately, rapid weight loss can occur from six months to one year following surgery. There is an increased chance of remission with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and Type II Diabetes following gastric bypass. Also, the surgery is generally covered by most insurance companies for candidates that prove the procedure is a medical necessity. Your surgeon will be able to work through the steps to follow all of the requirements set forth by your particular insurer.
Patients of gastric bypass can expect to lose about 60-75% of their excess body weight total (over a period of time). According to the University of Michigan, the average weight loss for gastric bypass surgery patients is 5-15 pounds per week for the first 2 to 3 months tapering off to 1-2 pounds a week after the first six months. It’s important to understand that the rate of weight loss will vary depending on the individual — their age, their health, and their starting weight.
Gastric Bypass Weight-Loss Plateaus & Weight Gain
Patients should expect to lose about half or so of their total excess weight in the first two years following their surgery. Weight plateaus do occur during weight loss. If a plateau should last longer than 6 weeks, adjustments must be made to your diet or exercise routine in order to restart your weight loss. A dietitian can work with you during these stalled periods of time.
It is common for some patients to regain a small portion of their weight (10 to 20 pounds) before their weight stabilizes at their goal weight. This is because the body is readjusting to its new form and weight. However, it is possible to gain all or more of your weight back after surgery if you’re unwilling to change your lifestyle and eat healthy choices.