How Effective is Weight Loss Surgery?
Actual weight loss after the procedure is dependent on several factors. These include:
- Patient's age
- Weight / Body Mass Index (BMI) before surgery
- Type of surgical procedure performed
- Overall health
- Ability to exercise
- Commitment to maintaining dietary guidelines and other follow-up care
- Motivation of patient and cooperation of their family, friends and associates
In general, weight loss surgery success is defined as achieving loss of 50% or more of excess body weight and maintaining that level for at least five years. Studies show that, following surgery, most patients lose weight rapidly and continue to do so until 18 to 24 months after the procedure. Patients can expect to lose between 30 to 50% of their excess weight in the first six months and 77% of excess weight in the first 12 months after surgery.
Patients with higher initial BMIs tend to lose more total weight. Patients with lower initial BMIs will lose a greater percentage of their excess weight and will more likely come closer to their ideal body weight.
The surgery has been found to be effective in improving and controlling many obesity-related health conditions. A 2000 study of 500 patients showed that 96% of certain associated health conditions studied (back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression) were improved or resolved. For example, many patients with Type 2 Diabetes, while showing less overall excess weight loss, have demonstrated excellent resolution of their diabetic condition, to the point of having little or no need for continuing medication.