Gastric Sleeve Success Rate - How Much Weight Will You Lose?
The gastric sleeve success rate is usually measured in terms of weight loss. Patients who eat right and exercise can lose up to 70% of their excess weight in the first year. The success rate improves for patients who follow the right diet and regularly exercise.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Over Time
- Main Differences Between Successful Patients and Failed Patients
- How Gastric Sleeve Works
- Gastric Sleeve Before and After Pictures
- The Truth About Weight Regain
- Gastric Sleeve Side Effect Rates
- Gastric Sleeve Complication Rates
- Gastric Sleeve Revision Rates and Options
- Help & Support
- Find a Gastric Sleeve Surgeon
Read and click the sections below for everything you need to know about the procedure.
Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Over Time
Up to 70% of excess weight win 1 year
The fastest period of weight loss is within the first three months. On average, patients will:
- Lose one-half pound a day for the first six weeks (3 to 4 pounds per week)
- Lose one-third of a pound a day for the next six weeks (2 to 3 pounds per week)
Meaningful weight loss is achieved by the vast majority of patients in the short-term. Long-term success rates of gastric sleeve are also impressive. On average, patients maintain excess weight loss of 55% after 5 years.
Average Excess Weight Loss After Gastric Sleeve
|Time||% Excess Weight Loss||Pounds/Kg Lost*|
|3 months||33%||27 lbs lost (12.2 kg)|
|6 months||50%||45 lbs lost (20.4 kg)|
|1 Year||70%||63 lbs lost (28.6 kg)|
|3 Years||60%||55 lbs lost (24.9 kg)|
|5 Years||55% (1)||50 lbs lost (22.7 kg)|
*Assuming patient is 5’ 4” and has a starting weight of 240 lbs
See our Gastric Sleeve Results page for more information about weight loss and health benefits after gastric sleeve.
Main Differences Between Successful Patients and Failed Patients
Successful patients commit to long-term diet and lifestyle changes
Most patients are satisfied with their weight loss after gastric sleeve, but some patients struggle. There are important differences between the gastric sleeve success rate of these two groups.
Successful patients will:
- Follow a healthy diet (high in protein, low in carbs, eat only healthy fats)
- Regularly exercise
- Attend follow up appointments with their surgeon
- Eat small portions
- Avoid “cheat meals”
- Take personal responsibility for their own weight loss or gain
Unsuccessful patients will:
- Maintain a “sedentary lifestyle.” Lack of movement/exercise contributes to a slow metabolism and increases the risk of weight regain
- Eat unhealthy foods
- Eat large quantities of foods that stretch the stomach
Main takeaway: The gastric sleeve success rate is directly tied to patient behavior after surgery. Patients who shift their psychology (get motivated!) and make smart dietary decisions will lose an impressive amount of weight and keep it off.
See our Gastric Sleeve Reviews page for real-life stories of successful patients.
How Gastric Sleeve Works
Surgeons remove ~80% of the stomach
Smaller stomach means patient feels full sooner while eating and feels less hungry generally
Patients eat less and lose weight
Surgeons make between 1 and 5 small incisions in the abdomen to access the stomach. The surgeon removes about 80% of the stomach, creating a banana shaped stomach “sleeve” that holds less food. Following surgery, patients feel full sooner while eating.
Gastric sleeve also works by reducing the amount of hunger-causing hormones (ghrelin) the stomach can produce. Think of the stomach as a factory for hormones that cause hunger. Gastric sleeve surgery makes this hunger-hormone factory smaller, helping to reduce food cravings and hunger pain.
See our Gastric Sleeve page for more information on how this surgery works .
Gastric Sleeve Before and After Pictures
5 Sets of pictures
See below for weight loss photos of patients before and after gastric sleeve surgery:
See our Gastric Sleeve Before and After page for pictures of gastric sleeve patients, including women, men, and celebrities.
The Truth About Weight Regain
Usually caused by changes in diet
Weight regain happens in about 30% of patients and can start as early as 12-18 months after surgery (2). Around that time, weight loss momentum can slow down, and old habits can re-emerge. Patients are at the highest risk of weight regain for the first 5 years after surgery.
The most frequent causes of weight regain are changes in diet, lack of exercise, and/or food addiction. Fortunately, weight regain can usually be avoided by eating healthy foods in small or medium-sized portions.
Tips To Avoid Weight Regain:
- Use a free diet journal. Tracking your food makes maintaining a healthy diet easier and can contribute to 2x the weight loss (3).
- Maintain healthy sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation makes weight loss more difficult (4).
- See a therapist if you struggle with food addiction issues.
- Begin an exercise routine. Exercise aids in weight loss and improves quality of life.
See our page on Weight Gain After Gastric Sleeve for more information.
Gastric Sleeve Side Effect Rates
1 in 5 experience gastroesophageal reflux
Most patients experience fatigue after anesthesia
The majority of patients will experience normal, post-surgery side effects. These include mild pain at the site of the incisions, and fatigue for 1-2 days. Fatigue is common due to the impact of surgery and anesthesia (which is required for gastric sleeve).
Other side effects may be a result of the anatomy changes after gastric sleeve. These usually resolve on their own as the body adjusts to the smaller stomach.
Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), also known as acid reflux, occurs in about 20% of patients after gastric sleeve (5). These symptoms usually resolve on their own, and only 3% of patients report GERD symptoms a year after surgery (6). Treatment includes dietary changes or the use drugs that reduce stomach acid.
Additional Gastric Sleeve Side Effects
- Digestive Issues (gas, nausea, and bloating) – Common side effect
- Usually resolves after the stomach heals and a new diet is implemented.
- Nutrient deficiencies – Common side effect
- Daily multivitamins are strongly advised for all patients following gastric sleeve.
- Sagging skin – Common after significant weight loss
- Treatable with a Tummy Tuck or the use of “slimming clothes.”
Gastric Sleeve Complication Rates
Non-fatal serious complications occur in 4% of surgeries
Gastric sleeve surgery has a 99.7% survival rate.
But like all surgeries, it does carry a risk of complications. Non-fatal serious complications occur in approximately 4% of surgeries.
|Complication||How Often Does it Happen?||What Is It?|
|Staple Line Leaks||2.0% of patients (7)||Staple line leaks occur if the suture line has any openings or “holes.” Food from the stomach will leak into the abdomen, causing symptoms that include pain and fever.|
|Bleeding||1.2% of patients (8)||Loss of blood is a risk with any operation. Patients are advised to avoid all blood thinning agents before surgery to reduce risk.|
|Stenosis/Strictures||0.6% of patients (9)||Stenosis is a narrowing of the digestive tract at the bottom of the stomach and beginning of the small intestines. This results in a difficulty with digestion or a even a backup of food into the stomach. Symptoms include a feeling of fullness for extended periods of time or nausea.|
Reliable treatments are available for post-surgery complications. Compared to other weight loss surgeries like duodenal switch and gastric bypass, the gastric sleeve is lower-risk.For more information, visit our Gastric Sleeve Complications page.
Gastric Sleeve Revision Rates and Options
4% of weight loss surgeries are revisional
Gastric sleeve revisions are when a patient gets a second weight loss surgery after an unsuccessful gastric sleeve. Gastric sleeve revisions are rare, and most patients do not desire or need more surgery. Approximately 4% of weight loss surgeries are revisional (10).
There are three common reasons patients undergo revisional surgery:
- Unsatisfactory Weight Loss: This can result from poor diet or unexpected weight loss setbacks.
- Weight Regain: Approximately 3 out of 10 patients regain weight. Weight regain can be as little as a few pounds, or mean a patient returns to their pre-surgery weight.
- Persistent Side Effects (Rare): The most common side effect that leads to a revisional surgery is gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Other side effects that lead to gastric sleeve revision are very rare.
There are four gastric sleeve revision options:
- Duodenal switch (best for weight loss)
- Gastric bypass (best for addressing gastroesophageal reflux)
- Re-sleeve (2nd gastric sleeve is performed)
- Lap-Band® (least popular)
For more information about revision options, see our page on Gastric Sleeve Revisions.
Help & Support
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