Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Timeline – What to Expect
Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Percentage Milestones
In recent years, gastric sleeve 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 gastric sleeve is a quicker and less complicated procedure than gastric bypass surgery, which it’s frequently compared to.
People who have undergone gastric sleeve surgery have 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, you could lose 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 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’ll lose the majority of your excess weight in only 12 months.
However, losing an excessive amount of weight that quickly is not always better; it’s 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. If – 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 a number of 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 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.
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.