If you're a candidate for weight-loss surgery, you could see your health improve virtually overnight. After months or years of unsuccessfully working on weight loss on your own, bariatric weight-loss surgery is a tool that provides hope for treating or preventing common illnesses associated with obesity. Many patients experience the results quickly and have the tools they need to maintain a lower weight long term.
When the Weight Loss Takes Effect
In the three to six months after bariatric weight-loss surgery, many patients lose weight very quickly. While weight loss as low as 5 percent has been shown to affect disorders that are common with obesity, most bariatric weight-loss patients lose between 50 and 70 percent of their excess body weight within one to two years after surgery. Within one year of their surgery, as the excess weight goes away, so do many health conditions and risk factors for serious problems.
It is common for patients to regain up to 10 percent of excess weight within a few years post-surgery, but as long as you stay within your surgeon’s recommended guidelines for weight goals, you will still see health benefits, including better mental health and less risk for depression and anxiety, freedom from gastroesophageal reflux disease, and improved or resolved asthma.
Other health benefits include improvement or remission of Type 2 diabetes and normalized blood pressure, reducing the need for medication. Further, patients have reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Results for Life
The benefits of bariatric weight-loss surgery last over time, as well. A recent study found that five years after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, patients saw:
- 59 percent reduced risk for musculoskeletal problems
- 65 percent reduced risk for endocrinological disease
- 76 percent reduced risk for respiratory disorders
- 76 percent reduced risk for cancer
- 82 percent decreased risk for cardiovascular disease
- In the long term, laparoscopic gastric bypass patients see an 89 percent reduction in five-year mortality, and 95 percent report an improvement in quality of life.
Supporting Better Health
A large component of bariatric weight-loss surgery’s successes — benefits including losing weight quickly and keeping it off, as well as improvement of comorbid conditions — is finding the support you need from your medical team and community.
Group exercise classes and nutritional counseling promote more weight loss and better health over time. Postoperative counseling sessions can also help you tackle emotional and mental hurdles to staying healthy. Maintaining the nutritional and exercise requirements needed to foster your success is challenging — don’t make the journey alone.