How Much Weight Can You Expect To Lose After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery is becoming more popular as a weight loss intervention. It works well for severely obese patients who have suffered from health problems as a result of their obesity. Surgical interventions are recommended for those who have tried diet and exercise in the past with no success.

As a result of its increased popularity, more and more people want gastric sleeve surgery. However, many people don’t know the kind of results they can expect. So how much weight can you lose after gastric sleeve surgery?

How Gastric Sleeve Works

Gastric sleeve surgery is a weight loss procedure that pares the stomach down into a sleeve-like shape. It looks like a banana and holds about 60 mL of food.

This procedure removes a part of the stomach responsible for ghrelin production. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells your brain that you’re hungry.

The new stomach is much smaller, making it much harder to eat large portions of food. Thanks to lower ghrelin production and a smaller stomach volume, gastric sleeve patients are able to lose a lot of excess weight.

How Much Weight Can You Expect To Lose With Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Most patients lose between 2-4 lbs (0.9-1.8kg) every week for about 6-12 months, with weight loss slowing gradually until it plateaus. Before a plateau, patients are usually told to add light exercise to their health regimen.

In total, a patient can expect to lose about 50-60% of their excess weight after a year post-op. Excess weight is calculated by taking your current weight and subtracting it by your goal weight. A patient who is 350 pounds and wishes to be 150 pounds has 200 pounds of excess weight. This patient can expect to lose 100 to 120 pounds after a year post-surgery.

However, sustained results from the surgery heavily depend on the patient. Even though the stomach has shrunk in size, a patient must eat the right foods in order to lose the most amount of weight.

Recovering From Gastric Sleeve

Since a large portion of the stomach has been taken out, the procedure requires the patient to take some time off for recovery. It’s recommended that patients take around two weeks off of work in order to recover from the surgery. If your job requires lifting or moving heavy objects, then you may need to take more time.

Gastric sleeve patients are required to follow a strict diet regimen, planned out by the doctor to suit the individual’s dietary needs. However, for most patients, the diet looks like this:

0-3 days post-op: clear liquids only (water, decaf tea, decaf coffee)
3-14 days post-op: liquids & purees only
14-28 days post-op: soft foods & liquids only
28+ days post-op: reintroduction of solid foods

Most doctors will recommend that patients avoid fruits and vegetables with seeds or roughage until they say that it’s safe to eat them.

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