Gastric bypass and other types of weight loss surgery can provide very successful long-term results. These surgeries are a tool for promoting weight loss. Continued weight loss and maintenance is up to the individual who underwent surgery and their consistency with lifestyle change.
Patients need to understand that the success of any weight loss surgery is heavily dependent on the commitment to changing lifestyle, dietary habits, and exercise routines.
Having knowledge and a realistic understanding of the long-term results and recovery after gastric bypass surgery is essential before embarking on this life changing journey. This would include knowing risks and complications before undergoing bariatric surgery.
This article will provide some insight into the long-term results that most people experience, the complications of surgery, and the types of surgery available.
It will also offer helpful tips in order to optimize your results and general health after weight loss surgery.
What Are The Long-Term Results of Bariatric Surgery?
Most experts in the field of Bariatric Surgery estimate that approximately 80% or more of patients will have success long-term and are satisfied with the results of weight loss surgery.
Patients need to be committed to a healthy diet and regular exercise pattern in order to achieve desired weight loss results.
Individuals will be able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle and an improved quality of life. Bariatric surgery can result in fewer obesity-related health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and depression.
Bariatric surgery may also allow patients to decrease the amount of medications taken for obesity-related comorbidities.
The surgery can also decrease the risk of some cancers, coronary artery disease, and diabetic complications.
Bariatric surgery not only has health-related benefits, but also positive financial and economic benefits.
The costs associated with obesity and obesity-related health conditions are decreased by around one-third within five years of having surgery.
Which Bariatric Surgery Has The Best Long-Term Results?
There is no guarantee that bariatric surgery will maintain weight loss. However, most patients usually lose a significant amount of weight, improve quality of life, and decrease or resolve obesity-related health conditions.
Long-term results will depend on adherence to the advice your health care team provides and ensuring that you make healthy dietary and lifestyle choices after surgery.
Below, we describe long-term results of each bariatric procedure further.
The literature on bariatric surgery and gastric bypass facts state that around 60% of gastric bypass patients experience long-term success with weight loss when compared to other bariatric procedures.
Recent research shows that gastric bypass (laparoscopic Roux-en-Y procedure) surgery may produce slightly better weight loss results compared to sleeve gastrectomy, five years after surgery. Although, it still remains that the surgery you decide on will be specific to your individual needs, medical conditions, and possible benefits that follow.
The results after weight loss surgery will differ based on the individual. In most cases, gastric bypass will result in patients losing between 50% to 90% of excess body weight 5 years after surgery when compared to gastric sleeve patients that are likely to lose around 40% to 80% excess body weight.
Both types of procedures have similar complication rates and increased quality of life. There are also increased benefits affecting self-esteem levels, work, home, and sex life.
Sleeve gastrectomy can also be very successful and less complex. However, as mentioned above, typically less weight loss is seen when compared to gastric bypass surgery.
Weight loss will happen in varying amounts after any bariatric surgery procedure. Unfortunately, many patients become discouraged when they reach a weight plateau after bariatric surgery. This may lead patients back into old habits, resulting in weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery.
The complications of restrictive surgeries, such as sleeve gastrectomy, can provoke reflux symptoms, especially if you experienced acid reflux prior to bariatric surgery.
Gastric Band Surgery
Gastric band surgery solely relies on the restriction of food. There are no permanent modifications with this surgery, so some find this more appealing. However, this procedure is suited for someone that is highly motivated regarding diet and lifestyle change to ensure positive weight loss results.
There is some evidence that patients will regain weight around two years after surgery, however, other research suggests that gastric band surgery is effective and has minimal risk of complications.
It is possible that this surgery can result in re-operation due to an increase in band size from lack of adherence to a strict diet after surgery or mechanical issues concerning slippage.
The right type of bariatric surgery depends on many factors and is different for each individual. Patients should discuss various options with their surgeon to decide which option would be best.
With every type of bariatric surgery, you will initially lose weight quickly. Everyone is likely to reach a weight plateau after surgery as a survival mechanism for the body. It is ultimately up to you to maintain your weight loss, stay persistent, and start developing healthier lifestyle habits.
What Are The Long-Term Risks And Complications of Bariatric Surgery?
Gastric Bypass Problems
Nutritional deficiencies: Gastric bypass surgery alters your digestive system. This causes food restriction and malabsorption of essential nutrients and minerals.
Post-bariatric supplements are required and include a bariatric chewable multivitamin. You may also need additional vitamin B12, Iron, and Calcium supplements based on your healthcare providers recommendations.
Inadequate weight loss or weight regain: Non-compliance to a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise can interfere with weight loss.
Gastric bypass malabsorption: Food bypasses most of the stomach and small intestine. These areas are responsible for digestion and absorption of specific vitamins and minerals. You may also see complications with increased weight loss in a short period of time.
Dumping syndrome: Stomach contents empty quickly into the intestine causing diarrhea and nausea.
Gallbladder problems after gastric bypass: Changes in bile acid circulation and rapid weight loss increases the risk of gallstone formation.
Gastric Banding Problems
Regaining weight or inadequate weight loss: Lack of adherence to a strict diet.
- Mechanical Issues: Band slippage, erosion, and obstruction.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Due to food restriction. Require bariatric supplements.
Gastric Sleeve Problems
- Nutritional deficiencies: Changes to the stomach causes the restriction of food and slight malabsorption of essential nutrients and minerals.
Post-bariatric supplements are required and include a bariatric chewable multivitamin. You may also need additional supplements based on your healthcare providers recommendations.
- Gastric sleeve and acid reflux
- Surgical complications: May include leakage and bleeding.
- Inadequate weight loss or weight regain after gastric sleeve surgery
Tips For Long-Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery
The weight loss journey after bariatric surgery should not be called a diet, but rather a lifestyle change. See this as an opportunity to start living a better lifestyle with healthier food habits and regular exercise.
A healthier lifestyle after bariatric surgery can benefit you in a number of ways, including tightening loose skin after gastric bypass without plastic surgery. You should be following a bariatric diet and taking multivitamins for bariatric patients.
Looking over your new healthier lifestyle, you may want to watch your consumption of alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery or other bariatric procedures can interfere with weight loss. Your alcohol tolerance will also decrease after weight loss surgery, so it is best to consult with your healthcare provider regarding this topic.
Listen to Your Body
Your body will tell you what you can handle after surgery. You may experience a feeling a pressure when you are full. Make sure to listen to your body and react to the cues. This will decrease overeating.
Make Exercise a Priority in Your Life
Start by walking short distances and then slowly increase the distance and speed. Use a phone app or sports watch to track your distance and challenge yourself to become healthier and more fit.
Find a Hobby That You Enjoy
Use your recovery time to find a hobby that you enjoy. This can distract you from food.
Find a Support System
Friends and family are great support too. Although, they may not fully understand what you are going through, they can help to keep you motivated.
Check Your Mental Health
Consider seeing a psychologist to help you break bad eating habits and help you deal with stress during the recovery period. A qualified professional in this field of work can assist you with the changes and challenges you may face after surgery.
**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.