How much weight will I lose after bariatric surgery?
Whether you have a gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, or other weight loss operation by a surgeon in the Woodlands, Cypress, Katy, Bellaire, or Houston Texas; the weight loss after any given surgery should be similar to the national averages. Dr. Brad Snyder is a surgeon who serves the greater Houston area and explains below.
Generally, weight loss after bariatric surgery is measured in terms of percent excessive weight loss (%EWL). That means that the surgeon will calculate a patient's "ideal" weight based off national life insurance charts and subtract that from the actual weight. This will give the excessive weight. [How do you know what your ideal weight should be? Google a body mass index (BMI) chart and find the weight that corresponds to a BMI of 22 kg/m2 with your height.]
As a patient loses weight, the percentage of pounds they lose from their excessive weight is the %EWL. For a person who is 5'9", for example, the ideal weight should be about 150 lbs. If that person weighs 280 lbs, then his BMI would 40 kg/m2. This is morbidly obese, and the excessive weight is 280-150 lbs = 130 lbs. The average weight this person could expect to lose after this surgery depends on the surgery. The gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy have similar weight loss at three years: 60-70%. That means, in the case of the person I described above, 60% of 130 lbs would be about 80 lbs. So he could expect to go from 280 lbs to 200 lbs (BMI 29, over the course of about 12 months). The gastric band procedure is more variable, but on average, patients lose about 45% of their excessive weight. In the case above (45% of 130 lbs is about 60 lbs), he would get his weight down to about 220 lbs (BMI 34) over the next couple of years (weight loss is slower with the gastric banding operations).
While these numbers are generally true for the average population, the results do vary among individuals. Nonetheless, they are a good guideline to help a person determine which operation it is they think they want to have in order to obtain a particular weight goal. For example, it would not be realistic for the example patient above to choose a gastric band and expect to get under 200 lbs. no matter how enthusiastic and devoted he is. Gauging realistic expectations is very important.
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