Long-Term Results After Bariatric Surgery

When you leave the hospital, we will schedule an appointment with you about two weeks from the date of the operation.

You will see your surgeon and a dietitian at regular intervals several times during the first year and then as needed thereafter to monitor your progress.

Because of fatigue and the inconvenience of your special diet, you will be unable to return to work for at least two weeks to four weeks after surgery.

We will place no lifting restrictions on you after three weeks.

If you have an active job, you probably will be able to return to work in about four weeks to six weeks. If your job is rather sedentary, you could return to work earlier.

By eating small meals (until you are full), your daily food intake will decrease markedly, resulting in a weight loss of about four pounds to six pounds per week initially. Weight loss will continue for about one year.

Our goal is for you to reach a stable weight at about 30 percent above your ideal body weight. In other words, if your height suggests that your ideal body weight is 150 pounds, 30 percent above your ideal body weight is 50 pounds. Your weight may stabilize at about 200 pounds.

Extremely obese patients (greater than 400 pounds) tend to stabilize at a greater weight than less obese people, and conversely, less obese patients (less than 300 pounds) tend to stabilize at lesser weights, 10 to 20 percent above ideal body weight, for example.

Other factors that affect your weight are your exercise level and the type of diet you consume. For example, people who eat large amounts of sweets tend not to lose as much weight.

We believe that about 80 percent of patients have excellent results. Another 10 to 15 percent of patients get a "good" result. This latter group of "good" patients do not lose as much weight as we would like or they have more nausea or restriction in their diet than we would like.

We have been extremely happy with the effect of weight loss after surgery on the complications of obesity. For example, diabetes is rapidly improved after weight loss. About two-thirds of patients are able to stop all medications for high blood pressure. Sleep disorders usually resolve completely, and lower extremity joint pains are markedly improved.

Five to 10 percent of "poor" results of patients either do not lose enough weight or regain their weight, and that is largely due to disruption tearing of the staples in the stomach. This allows patients to eat more and weight gradually returns.

In our experience, excessive weight loss and/or frequent vomiting is an unusual cause of "poor" results.