Medically Reviewed by:Peter F. Rovito, MD, FACSBariatric Surgeon
The gastric bypass before and after pictures on this page will give you a realistic idea of what you can expect after the procedure. If you decide to move forward with surgery, you will most likely:
- Lose up to 65% of your excess weight in the first year
- Reduce or fix your obesity-related health issues
- Improve your quality of life
- Improve relationships and self esteem
Read the sections below for everything you need to know about life before and after gastric bypass surgery.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Click on any of the topics below to jump directly to that section
- Calculate Your Weight Loss
- Pictures - Women
- Pictures - Men
- Pictures - Celebrities
- Your Skin
- Health Conditions
- Lifestyle Changes
- Your Diet
- Your Brain
- Gastric Bypass Vs. Other Procedures
- Patient Community & Expert Advice
- Find a Weight Loss Surgeon
- Up to 65% of excess weight is lost in the first year
Three months after gastric bypass, you can expect to be down about one third of your excess weight. At the six month mark, your excess weight will be cut in half. Two years after surgery, you should have been able to keep off about 65% of your excess weight.
For example, if you have 150 pounds to lose, you can expect to lose 97.5 pounds after 2 years. If you follow the right diet and exercise plan, you will lose even more weight.
Some patients regain weight after surgery. Those who regain weight often fail to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. This is avoidable by following postoperative diet and lifestyle recommendations.
- Review the 5 Sets of Pictures Below
See below for gastric bypass before and after photos of women:
- Review the 5 Sets of Pictures Below
See below for gastric bypass before and after pictures of men:
- Review the Updated list of “confirmed” gastric bypass celebrities below
Many celebrities have undergone weight loss surgery. The following celebrity gastric bypass before and after pictures show results from people in the public eye:
Al Roker – “Today Show” Host
Roseanne Barr – 80’s TV Star
Patti Austin – American R&B, pop, and jazz singer
Randy Jackson – “American Idol” Judge
John Popper – Lead Singer of “Blues Traveler”
Star Jones – Talk Show Host
Diego Maradona – All Time Soccer Great
- Hear from gastric bypass patients about their weight loss journeys
The following gastric bypass videos show a time-lapse of successful surgery outcomes:
- Excess skin should be expected after significant weight loss
- Body contouring (plastic surgery) can improve physical appearance of sagging skin after weight loss
- Scarring can be kept to a minimum with the right techniques
Excess skin after gastric bypass
After gastric bypass weight loss, many patients are left with excess skin. The amount of sagging skin will vary by case, but this should not surprise anyone who loses 100+ pounds of extra weight – it comes with the territory.
Excess skin can cause several issues ranging from minor to severe, including:
- Difficulty putting clothes on
- Difficulty finding clothes to buy
- Mobility issues
- Skin rashes or infections
- Low self esteem
Body contouring (plastic surgery)
While body-shaping garments can help, plastic surgery is the only permanent way to remove stretched-out skin after weight loss surgery. Below are before and after pictures of plastic surgery patients following weight loss surgery:
See our Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss page for more information.
Scarring after gastric bypass
Scars are unavoidable after gastric bypass surgery. The procedure will leave 6 half-inch incisions on the upper abdomen. These incisions will vary by location depending on surgeon preference.
Surgeons do their best to minimize the size of the scars and operate in a way that makes scarring discreet. An additional factor in the scarring is your skin type and bodies ability to recover from incisions.
5 ways to address post gastric bypass scarring:
- Apply creams and/or gels under a bandage: Anti-scarring creams and gels covered with bandages have shown benefit in scar reduction.
- Laser treatments: Laser treatments will reduce abnormal scarring.
- Steroid injections: Steroid injections can be administered at the time of surgery to reduce risk of scarring. They may also be performed at any time during the healing process to “soften” scars and improve appearance.
- Treat them early: The sooner you treat scarring, the better the outcome.
- Keep your scars out of the sun: Scars become easily sunburned. This contributes to additional skin discoloration and an increase in scar visibility.
Pictures of gastric bypass scars:
- Many health related issues can be improved or “cured” following surgery
Gastric bypass can lead to profound health improvements. Years of obesity is hard on the body, but the body is resilient. Gastric bypass can lead to extraordinary change physically and mentally.
Following is a list of conditions known to be cured or improved by gastric bypass surgery:
- Quality of Life Improvements reported by 95% of patients (1)
- 89% reduction in risk of death vs obese patients who did not have bariatric surgery (2a, 2b)
- Asthma: Completely resolved or improved in 80% to 100% of patients (3)
- Heart: Up to 79% reduction in cardiovascular risks (4)
- Degenerative Joint Disease: Complete resolution in 43% of patients (5)
- Depression: Improvement for majority of patients (6)
- Diabetes: 83% experience complete resolution by 1 year (7a, 7b)
- Dyslipidemia hypercholesterolemia – 63% resolved (8)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Completely resolved or improved in 80% to 100% of patients (9)
- High Blood Pressure: Up to 69% of patients experience complete resolution by 1 year (10, 11)
- Hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood): 73% experience improvement or complete resolution (12)
- Metabolic Syndrome: 80% resolved (13)
- MIgraines: 57% resolved (14)
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: 90% improved steatosis, 37% resolution of inflammation, 20% resolution of fibrosis (15)
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Up to 98% resolved (16, 17)
- Pseudomotor cerebri: 96% resolved (20)
- Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: Significantly reduced risk and improved prognosis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (21)
- Stress Urinary Incontinence: Up to 88% resolved (22)
See our Obesity Health Problems page for more information about each condition.
- If you choose to undergo gastric bypass surgery, you'll have to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Please read the details below.
Gastric bypass is not a magic bullet to overcome obesity. Lifestyle change is a must.
Change can be hard, so be patient with yourself during this process. If you fall off the wagon, get back on it. Building new habits is like developing new muscle; it takes work, but it’s worth it in the long run.
The following chart will break down recommended lifestyle changes before and after gastric bypass:
Tap here to see a list of recommended lifestyle changes
|What you need to do||Why you need to do it|
|Become a Learner||New studies come out frequently that advise us on the best ways to maintain health. You should get online, read books, and speak with your healthcare professionals about the best food plans. Do your best to stay up to date.|
|Eat Slowly||You feel full 20-30 minutes after eating. This time lag is why it is so easy to overeat. Eat slowly so your stomach and brain work together. This impacts weight loss.|
|Change How You View Food||Eating must be for purpose and not pleasure. Unhealthy foods DO hurt your body. Respecting your body starts with what we put in it.|
|Don’t Skip Meals||Skipping meals makes you hungry, leaving you susceptible to careless food choices.|
|Find a Support Group||Attending obesity support groups will increase your odds for sustained weight loss. This is also a great way to connect with others who relate to obesity struggles.|
|Drink More Water||An increase in water intake curbs appetite and will contribute to weight loss.|
|Keep A Diet Journal||Using a free diet journal can be a great way to monitor your food intake. Adherence to a diet journal is linked to increased weight loss.|
|Exercis||Exercise contributes to weight loss. If you struggle with exercise, start with walking 3-4 times a week. If you’re able to walk more, increase the time of your walks and number of times a week. If you’re able to get in a hard workout, make a schedule and go for it.|
|Be Mindful of What You Drink||Meal planning and cooking your food ahead of time is an excellent way to ensure you’re eating right. Healthy, precooked meals can safeguard against impulsive eating.|
|Pre-Plan Your Meals||Meal planning and cooking your food ahead of time is an excellent way to ensure you’re eating right. Healthy, precooked meals can safeguard against impulsive eating.|
|Avoid Snacking||Snacking is often a factor in obesity and generally is not recommended. If snacking is necessary, only low calorie snacks should be consumed. Examples of this may include raw vegetables or low calorie diet bars.|
|Stop Smoking||It is highly recommended that anyone who smokes cigarettes quit as soon as possible. Cigarette smoking is linked to higher blood clot rates after weight loss surgery. It is linkec to cancer, lung disease, and many other health conditions.|
|Take Vitamins and Minerals||After gastric bypass, taking vitamin and mineral supplements is recommended and even required by some doctors. This is because weight loss surgery can reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Supplemental vitamins and minerals aim to address deficiencies that may come from surgery.|
Alcohol use advisory:
Gastric bypass surgery changes how the body digests alcohol. Getting “drunk” happens faster, often surprising patients who drink after surgery (23).
After gastric bypass, patients are at higher risk of developing an alcohol abuse disorder (24). The cause is not known, but it may be related to changes in the “pleasure center” of the brain. A theory is that faster alcohol absorption may influence reward circuitry, putting bypass patients at higher risk of addiction.
Gastric bypass is not recommended for those with an active alcohol use disorder. For patients with a history of alcohol use disorder, the surgeon may request a period of sobriety prior to surgery.
Caution is advised to anyone who chooses to drink alcohol following gastric bypass. If you choose to drink, start with very small quantities to test how it affects your behavior and coordination.
See our Preparing for Weight Loss surgery page for more information.
- You'll be on a restricted diet before and after surgery
- You'll have to take vitamins & supplements for the rest of your life (see details below)
The pre- and postoperative diets are important for many reasons.
- Usually begins 3 weeks before surgery
- Reduces the size of the liver and spleen. Smaller organs make the gastric bypass an easier surgery.
- Facilitates “food awareness.” Your diet becomes a priority.
- Increases safety by decreasing surgical risk
- Begins the weight loss process. Losing weight before surgery is linked to better weight loss outcomes after surgery.
- Transition from liquid diet to solid foods can take up to 3 weeks
- Healthy foods only with limited snacking
- Liquid diet and soft foods allow internal organs to heal following surgery
- Low calorie fluids, preferably water, are encouraged.
Vitamins and Supplements:
- Gastric bypass can cause poor absorption of some nutrients.
- Vitamins and supplements will reduce risk of vitamin deficiency
- Vitamins and supplements will need to be taken the rest of your life
See the following pages for more information on the gastric bypass diet and vitamins following surgery:
- Your brain may function better after surgery
- You will be less hungry after surgery, but it won't fix food addiction
Obesity has a negative impact on the brain. This vitally important organ impacts our lives in profound ways. Gastric bypass will help the brain work and serve as a “tuneup” by improving its function.
Multiple studies suggest that obesity is linked to cognitive decline, dementia, and earlier onset of symptoms (25). Additionally, short term memory and attention deficits are common in the obese population (26).
Obesity is considered a risk factor for cerebrovascular disease, a condition where blood does not properly move throughout the brain (27). Poor blood flow is linked to a variety of conditions including stroke and vascular dementia.
After weight loss surgery, scores measuring cognitive function demonstrated improvement a minimum of three years following surgery (28). The study evaluated short term memory, attention span, and executive functioning.
2. Mental Health
There is a strong connection between obesity and depression (29). Obesity discrimination, poor health, and low self esteem contribute to depressive symptoms. Individuals who are depressed may avoid exercise and eat unhealthy food that contribute to obesity.
Low self esteem, anxiety, and depression usually improve following gastric bypass surgery (30) (31). Quality of life improvements have also have been attributed to weight loss surgery (32).
3. Food Addiction
Food addiction is compulsive eating despite negative consequences. Negative consequences may include an impact on family, work, hygiene, and personal health. An example would be spending excessive amounts of money on food, then being unable to pay rent as a result.
Food addiction occurs in approximately 25% of obesity cases (33). Get screened for food addiction before gastric bypass surgery.
Treating food addiction through methods such as talk therapy is can be an important part of the weight loss process. This will address trauma and triggers that lead to overeating. If food addiction is not addressed before gastric bypass, you will beare at higher risk of weight regain.
To find out if you may be suffering from food addiction, take our Food Addiction Quiz.
- Your relationships may change
- The quality of your sex life can improve
Relationships usually change after gastric bypass. Most patients report positive changes in relationships, but sometimes there are struggles. The more weight someone loses, the more likely they will report new experiences with family, peers, and partners.
It is important for your partner to be supportive of your weight loss goals. A healthy relationship should have both parties wanting the best for each others health. Deeper relationship issues may be at play if one partner doesn’t support the other’s health.
In some relationships, the partner who loses weight will begin encouraging the other to get healthy. This encouragement may be great, helping motivate their partner to modify their lifestyle. This may also cause tension in relationships if one party is not ready for lifestyle change.
The power dynamics in a relationship can also change. Increased confidence and others giving you more romantic interest can make a partner feel insecure.
Open communication before and after weight loss surgery is important. Relationship counseling prior to weight loss surgery should be considered to minimize conflict after surgery. Include your partner in the weight loss surgery process.
Sexual relationships are known to improve after gastric bypass surgery (34). A reduction in body image dissatisfaction is linked to improved sex after gastric bypass (35).
Patient Quotes from Before And After Gastric Bypass Surgery
On Confidence Around Others
“When I was obese my confidence was so low that if someone did talk to me, I’d shut it down pretty quickly. A lot of the ‘nice society phenomenon’ after surgery could probably be attributed to us being more open to being talked to.”
“I feel so removed from that past life and so much happier. I believe I project that. I do feel sad and sorry when I see people in that category (obesity) now.”
“The bigger part (of being treated nicer) is my own attitude. I feel better about myself, confident, I walk about with my head up high. I think people smile more at me because I smile at them first, they are friendlier towards me because I am friendlier, and I get into random conversations because I start random conversations – instead of hiding in a corner.”
On Romantic Relationships
“When I got below her weight, it bothered her. She became jealous about every little thing. But she never had anything to worry about. I loved her, as is. And she loved me, as is, whether I was heavier or thinner. We have a good relationship.”
“My boyfriend said he was looking forward to other men flirting with me when we had surgery, but then when it started happening he got incredibly jealous.”
“My husband is great — most of the time. He loves that I look healthier & my Type 2 diabetes is resolved & that I think more highly of myself.”
“…losing weight has definitely had a positive impact — I feel much more confident about how I look and everything just feels better.”
“Lost 100 lbs, went from not having sex to having sex. Yes it improves it.”
“Yes, there has absolutely been an improvement. I feel better about myself (which probably plays the biggest role), I have a much higher sex drive, I have more stamina, I don’t need as long to ‘cool off’ after.”
Getting More Romantic Attention
“I’ve noticed it, guys never said much before, now they flat out hit on me. It annoys my partner haha. And she notices women checking me out more. I don’t. I really don’t pay attention.”
“I understand that on a basic level I must seem more attractive to them but I also feel like it’s really disappointing that I have to be skinnier to be treated nicer. Also, the influx of attention now when I have very little practice dealing with it almost makes me want to hide and tell them that this weight loss was not for them.”
“I’ve lost 70lbs in 7 months and I’ve noticed how people, mostly men, are so much nicer to me now. Not that they were rude before, but more like I’m not so invisible now ”
“I never enjoyed much flirting/being hit on and have been amazed at how much attention I get. Made me feel so awesome in the beginning, but because I am a big flirt back it got me in a lot of trouble with small town rumors. Always be honest with yourself and your spouse.”
Treatment from Peers
“People who I only sort of knew from class and mutual friends started going out of their way to talk to me, help me with things, tell me jokes, walk me places, etc. My personality hasn’t changed at all. It’s amusing but kind of sad to watch people laugh disproportionately hysterically at jokes you make now that you’re thinner.”
“After I lost around 100 pounds, some of the people that seemed to be supporting me in my journey were now asking me, ‘Do you really need to lose any more weight?’ They supported me in being less fat, but didn’t support me in wanting to get fit and lean. I became a threat to some people.”
“I lost about 20 pounds one year. It may have affected my friendships negatively. One of my friends admitted that she was jealous. I think she was used to being the more attractive friend, so when I lost weight and I started getting as much attention as her, it made her upset or something.”
For real life experiences and advice from other Gastric Bypass patients, see our Relationships After Weight Loss surgery page.
- Comparable or better health benefits when stacked up against the other weight loss procedures
- It's the second most popular weight loss procedure, based on number of surgeries performed
Gastric bypass makes up approximately 25% of weight loss surgeries. Below is a comparison between gastric bypass and other common procedures:
Comparing the Most Popular Procedures – Gastric Sleeve Vs. Gastric Bypass
Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are the two most popular weight loss surgeries. The data on safety and weight loss efficacy are similar.
- Gastric bypass has an advantage in long term weight loss
- Gastric sleeve has a slightly better safety profile
See our page on Gastric Sleeve Vs. Bypass – All You Need To Know for more information.
A Summary of the Rest: Gastric Bypass Comparisons
- Weight loss results are 2nd best after 5 years
- Duodenal Switch has the best 5 year weight loss results
- No devices are left in the body after gastric bypass
- LAP-BAND®, gastric balloon, and AspireAssist all leave devices in the body
- No devices are left behind in gastric bypass, duodenal switch, or gastric sleeve
- Gastric bypass is covered by insurance
- Procedures not covered by insurance: gastric balloon, AspireAssist.
- Procedures covered by insurance varies, but generally include gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, and LAP-BAND®.
- Gastric bypass out of pocket costs (no insurance) are 24,000 dollars
- Duodenal Switch – 27,300
- Gastric Sleeve – 19,300
- Lap Band – 15,200
- Aspire Assist – 10,600
- Gastric Balloon – 8,200
- Anesthesia is required for gastric bypass
- Weight loss procedures that do not require anesthesia: gastric balloon, AspireAssist
- Surgeries requiring anesthesia include gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, LAP-BAND®
- Hospitalization after gastric bypass: 2-3 days
- Procedures that do not require hospitalization after surgery: AspireAssist, gastric balloon
- Return to work takes 1-3 weeks after gastric bypass
- This is the longest time frame for weight loss surgeries
- Duodenal switch and gastric sleeve are also 1-3 weeks
- Procedures that require less than one week to return to work: AspireAssist, gastric balloon
- Gastric bypass is not reversible
- Reversible procedures include: LAP-BAND®, gastric balloon, and AspireAssist
- Gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch are non-reversible
- Complications occur in approximately 10% of gastric bypass surgeries
- Lap-Band® and duodenal switch have the highest complication rates
- Gastric sleeve has a 10% complication rate
- Aspire Assisst and V-Bloc Therapy have the lowest complication rates
- Gastric bypass offers the 2nd best health benefits
- Duodenal switch has slightly better health benefits
- Gastric bypass health benefits are better or equal to all other procedures
Unlike The Others – Dumping Syndrome
Dumping syndrome is unique to gastric bypass and up to 70% of patients will experience symptoms. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and fatigue.
Eating certain foods makes dumping syndrome more likely. Foods that cause dumping syndrome are generally unhealthy and high in fats and sugar. These foods will vary by person and keeping a food journal is a way to identify foods worth avoiding.
Although dumping syndrome me be alarming at first, it is not life threatening. It improves by making changes in what and how you eat. It is treated by avoiding foods that trigger the symptoms and eating meals a day.
By controlling dumping syndrome, you will also be avoiding the foods that tend to make you gain weight. While individuals who struggle with severe dumping syndrome may view it as a negative, other bypass patients are forced to eat healthy and view dumping syndrome as positive.
See our Dumping Syndrome – All You Need To Know page for more information.
- You should walking daily before surgery
- You must establish a consistent workout routine after surgery
New evidence suggests that exercise alone will not contribute to significant weight loss. It takes the combination of exercise and a healthy diet for weight loss (36). Regardless, exercise should be a part of any lifestyle plan after gastric bypass.
Most successful gastric bypass patients use exercise as a tool for losing weight. Exercise also improves health, happiness, and boosts self esteem.
Exercise will increase hunger. This is not an excuse to eat excessively or consume unhealthy food. It’s further reason to eat healthy foods in order to properly refuel your body.
Jumping into a strenuous workout routine before your body is ready can lead to injury and discouragement. Start with walking 30-45 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. Increase walking speed and the frequency of walks when you feel ready.
If you desire exercise that is more strenuous than walking, you’ll typically choose between aerobics or strength training. Examples of aerobic exercise are the treadmill, elliptical trainer, and jump rope. Weight training is pushing and pulling various weight in order to develop muscle.
Weight training and aerobic training contribute to weight loss, but aerobic training leads to more. Even if you’re not losing weight from exercise, it will change your body. Exercise increases the waist-to-hip ratio and improves the appearance of body fat distribution (37).
Find a local gym, or begin a program at home with the help of workout videos:
Written exercise programs are also available online:
- Bodybuilding.com is a user friendly health website with a huge message board for motivation and community. Some of their free workout plans are geared toward gaining muscle mass, but many are also geared toward weight loss. They will provide you with free diet plans, workout videos, and a written diet plan.
- SuperSkinnyMe.com is an easy-to-read website that will help its readers find workouts and corresponding diet plans. The website has up to date literature on health and exercise that will keep you up to date.
- Exercise.com allows you to search a large database of workout plans to find one that fits your needs. Most exercise plans are free and available with workout charts.
Additional reasons to exercise:
- Increases weight loss over the long term
- Improves memory
- Reduces blood pressure
- Lowers risk of diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- Increased energy
- Improved sleep
- Mental health improvements
See our page on Exercise For Bariatric Surgery Patients for more information.
- Patient Experiences
- Ask the Expert
If you still have questions about Gastric Bypass Surgery, our experts are happy to answer them. We (and other patients) would also love to hear about your experiences.
Please use the form below to share your experience or ask a question.
Questions From Other Visitors*
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My life is considerably better since my surgery although I have been unable to work to my full ability because of complications.I had the RNY Gastric Bypass. My beginning weight…Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Chart*
Hello, After looking at a gastric bypass weight loss chart, I’m encouraged to lose weight for the first time since my divorce. I had a serious knee injury in 2013…
- You can ask a local bariatric practice for a free insurance check or cost quote
- You can attend a free in-person seminar or an online webinar offered by a local weight loss surgeon
- You should schedule a phone or in-person consultation (both often free), if you are interested in learning more about weight loss surgery