The main goal of undergoing gastric sleeve surgery is to reach and maintain a long-term healthy weight or body mass index. But there are other benefits as well. One of the biggest benefits of gastric sleeve is that it speeds up the weight loss process. Some people spend years trying to get rid of excess weight through dieting and exercising, although the gastric sleeve weight loss timeline moves much faster.
If you’re seriously considering gastric sleeve surgery, you’re likely wondering what kind of weight loss progression you can expect following the procedure. Weight loss surgery is significantly more affordable in Mexico than it is in the US, but it’s still not cheap. Keep reading to find out how much weight you can lose, and how fast you may lose it.
Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Percentage Milestones
In recent years, gastric sleeve surgery has become the most popular weight loss surgery procedure, due to its high success rate and low-risk factor compared with other bariatric procedures. Not only that, but the gastric sleeve is a quicker and less complicated procedure than gastric bypass surgery, which it’s frequently compared to.
People who have done gastric sleeve surgery lost anywhere between 42 percent and 78 percent of their pre-surgery excess body weight. But most people lose up to 60 percent of their excess weight following gastric sleeve surgery, according to The Obesity Action Coalition.
That being said, you won’t lose that kind of weight overnight. It will take time to see significant results, but most patients hit milestones at 3, 6, 12 and 18 months.
Expect a quick surge in weight loss the first 3 months.
During this phase of your weight loss journey, you will gradually transition from consuming only liquids to eating solid food again. As a result, your average weight loss can be between 30 and 40 pounds in the first 3 months following surgery.
Your weight loss should start to level out at 6 months
At this stage, you will have likely lost between 30 and 40 percent of all your excess body weight. In addition, you should be averaging a weekly weight loss of one to two pounds.
You should be close to your goal weight one year after surgery.
Some people reach their ideal weight loss goal within a year or are close to reaching it, but not everyone will. And it’s impossible to determine exactly how much weight you will lose within the first year.
At this point, your weight loss will greatly depend on your starting weight and whether or not you experience any setbacks caused by overeating or health-related complications.
Expect your weight loss to slow down after 18 months.
The 18-month mark is the point that you’ll start to max out your weight loss. It’s also important to note that when you undergo other weight loss procedures, such as gastric bypass, you will lose the majority of your excess weight in only 12 months.
However, losing an excessive amount of weight that quickly is not always the best; it is less natural and can result in more visible stretch marks and flabby skin.
How to Project Your Own Weight Loss Prior to Surgery
Although the amount of weight loss after bariatric surgery varies greatly from person to person, there is a way to estimate how much weight you could lose. It’s a simple, two-step process:
- First, determine how much excess weight you want to lose by subtracting your goal weight from your current weight. For example – you currently weigh 300 lbs and your goal weight is 150 lbs, subtract 150 from 300, which gives you an excess weight of 150 lbs.
- Next, multiply your goal weight loss by 60 percent – the expected percentage of excess weight people lose, according to The Obesity Action Coalition – using this equation: 150 × 0.6. That gives you 90, and if you lose 90 pounds following surgery, you would then weigh 210 lbs, down from 300.
Why do different people experience different results?
There are many reasons why some people lose more weight or lose weight faster than others following gastric sleeve surgery, but there are two primary factors:
- Quality of the surgery: if a bariatric surgeon fails to remove enough of a patient’s stomach during surgery, it may not have enough of an impact on the patient’s appetite. That will decrease the amount of weight the patient can expect to lose following surgery. More experienced surgeons are less likely to make those kinds of mistakes.
- Pre-existing conditions: these should be addressed prior to surgery to ensure they don’t impact the effectiveness of the procedure. Contact your surgeon before the surgery for their medical advice.
Long-term effects of Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery
Based on a U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) study, more than 50% of individuals who had gastric sleeve surgery experienced greater long-term weight loss and fewer complications up to three years following their procedure compared with other forms of weight loss surgery.
In order to maximize the effects of your procedure, you must strictly follow a post-op nutritional plan. A healthy diet, combined with exercise and possibly even post-op counseling will facilitate a speedy recovery and help you maintain long-term success.