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How Much Weight Can You Lose with Bariatric Surgery?

The journey to effective weight loss is riddled with challenges, and often, traditional methods might not bring the desired outcomes. Bariatric surgery has surfaced as an efficient solution for many. But the pressing question remains: How much weight can you lose with bariatric surgery?

Let’s delve into this comprehensive guide to understand better.

What Is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery refers to various surgical procedures performed on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss. It’s specifically designed for those who have significant weight to shed and for whom other methods have proved ineffective.

The surgery essentially reduces the size of the stomach, limiting the amount of food intake, or changes the way nutrients are absorbed.

Types of Bariatric Treatments

Bariatric surgery is an encompassing term for various surgical procedures aimed at helping individuals lose weight by altering the digestive system. The choice of procedure often depends on an individual’s health, weight loss goals, and personal preference.

Here’s an overview of some of the most common bariatric treatments:

Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y)

Often referred to as the “gold standard” in weight loss surgery, gastric bypass works by creating a small stomach pouch and rerouting food to skip a portion of the small intestine. This results in reduced food intake and decreased absorption of calories.

Learn more about Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y)

Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)
This procedure involves removing about 80% of the stomach, leaving behind a tubular “sleeve”-shaped stomach. With a significantly reduced stomach size, patients feel full faster and consume less food.
Learn more about Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)

Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap-Band)

A silicone band is placed around the top portion of the stomach to create a small pouch. The size of the opening between the pouch and the rest of the stomach can be adjusted by filling the band with saline.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)

BPD/DS is a complex procedure that combines aspects of gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. A large portion of the stomach is removed (like the sleeve), and the remaining part is attached to the lower part of the small intestine, bypassing the majority of the digestive tract.

Gastric Balloon

The gastric balloon is a non-surgical weight loss solution where a deflated silicone balloon is inserted into the stomach and then filled with saline. It occupies space in the stomach, leading to increased feelings of fullness even after small meals. The balloon is temporary and usually remains in place for about six to twelve months.

Learn more about Gastric Balloon

Single Anastomosis Duodeno-ileal Bypass (SADI-S)

This is a modified version of the BPD/DS and involves a sleeve gastrectomy followed by a bypass of a significant portion of the small intestine.

Choosing the right bariatric treatment is a significant decision and should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional who can assess individual needs, risks, and potential benefits. While surgery can be a powerful tool in the fight against obesity, success requires commitment to lifestyle changes and regular follow-up.

How Much Weight Loss Can Be Expected with Weight Loss Surgeries?

The amount of weight one can lose post-surgery largely depends on the type of procedure and individual adherence to post-operative guidelines.

On average:

  • Gastric sleeve patients may lose up to 60-70% of their excess weight within two years.
  • Gastric bypass recipients often report a 70-80% excess weight loss in the same timeframe.
  • With the adjustable gastric band, weight loss tends to be more gradual, averaging 40-50% of excess weight over two years.
  • BPD/DS might result in a whopping 70-90% weight loss within two years.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight After a Bariatric Surgery?

While bariatric surgeries have high success rates, a small fraction might experience weight plateaus or insufficient weight loss.

This could be due to:

  • Not adhering to post-op dietary guidelines.
  • Inadequate physical activity.
  • Metabolic factors or hormonal imbalances.
  • Issues with the surgical procedure itself, requiring revisions.

What Should I Do During Recovery?

Your post-op recovery phase is crucial. Here’s what you should keep in mind:


  • Follow dietary guidelines: Initially, you’ll be on a liquid diet, slowly transitioning to solids. Adherence is key.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink ample water throughout the day.
  • Exercise: Start with light activities, gradually intensifying as per medical advice.
  • Attend follow-up appointments: Regular check-ins with your surgeon are vital.


  • Overeat: Your reduced stomach size means you should eat small portions.
  • Drink and eat simultaneously: It can lead to discomfort and dumping syndrome in some surgeries.
  • Neglect protein: It aids in better recovery.
  • Engage in strenuous activities immediately: Your body needs time to heal.


Bariatric surgery is a transformative procedure that can significantly enhance the quality of life. When contemplating the query, “How much weight can you lose with bariatric surgery?”, it’s essential to understand that individual results vary.

With commitment to lifestyle changes and expert guidance, achieving weight loss goals post-surgery becomes a feasible journey. If you’re considering this route, always consult a medical professional to determine the best path forward.

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