How Fast Will I Lose Weight After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Question Below Submitted By:  

Betty (a patient from Atlanta)


I have my gastric sleeve surgery coming up in a couple weeks and am trying to prepare for how fast I will be losing weight after my procedure.

I am 5’6″ and 255, which is a BMI of 41ish. I am so(!) excited to lose this weight.

I know you can lose weight at a pretty rapid rate, so I’m trying to understand the practical implications of that. For example, how much can I expect to lose on average from week to week or month to month?

This is really important to me because I work in a VERY professional office, and I know I’m going to be successful at this (woo!), but that means I’m going to need to buy new clothes as I lose weight. Turns out professional clothes are rather expensive : ( and I’m certainly no millionaire so I’m going to need to budget this out a bit.

I can find a lot of information online about the long-term weight loss of gastric sleeve, but not a lot of information on the rate of weight loss per week or per month.

Any info would be super helpful! Thanks so much and god bless!

– Betty


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon Response to "How Fast Will I lose Weight After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?"

by: John Rabkin, M.D., Pacific Laparoscopy


Congratulations on your upcoming Weight Loss surgery (WLS.). I am as confident as you are that you will be successful on this journey!

Every patient loses weight at a different rate after WLS. Men tend to lose faster (and more) than women and the larger patients more than the smaller ones. The choice of procedure also impacts the weight loss, both the overall magnitude of the weight loss as well as the rate of the weight loss.

My general experience with a typical patient after undergoing a verticle sleeve gastectomy (VSG) is that they lose approximately one-half pound a day for the first six weeks (3 to 4 pounds per week) and then about one-third of a pound a day for the next six weeks (2 to 3 pounds per week). Therefore, you may expect a 30 to 40 pound weight loss during the first 3 months. Typically patients continue to lose weight at a gradually slowing rate for the initial 9 to 18 months following their VSG and then (hopefully, with considerable effort on their part) stabilize at their 'nadir' (lowest) weight. It's important to also know that during this period of weight loss many patients experience variable duration 'plateaus' where their weight remains stable for a few weeks before the weight loss resumes.

In regards to fitting in new clothes, many patients also discuss losing "inches" as opposed to "pounds" as they lose weight, with the two NOT always correlating. This is in part due to redistribution of the weight and potential increasing lean body mass (muscle mass). Consequently, you may want to 'source' some used professional clothing of various decreasing sizes as you experience your weight loss prior to stabilization at your final 'nadir' weight. Many bariatric support groups sponsor 'clothes racks' with donated clothes to help people who transiently need specific size clothes as their size decreases over time following their WLS.

Best regards,

John Rabkin, M.D.
Pacific Laparoscopy

(click here for Dr. Rabkin's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

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Patient Responses to the Question Above

Reasons for weight loss

by: CH


How much of the weight loss post bariatric surgery can be attributed to the fact that the post surgery diets are liquid diets limited to protein shakes for a couple weeks and then progress to clear liquids etc.

Seems like if someone were to consume the same "diet" and take same vitamins they would be able to lose a significant amount of weight as well only without the pain of surgery. In fact, consuming 64 oz+ of water would be easier and could exercise as well instead of waiting 6 wks for release.

Wondering if someone was not a candidate for surgery and wanted to "jump start" their weight loss program how effective this might be for them.

Thank you

Tomorrow is 1 month since my sleeve

by: Casra

Despite being hungry, a lot. My regrets have moved aside. I've lost 45.2lbs so far. I'm blown away.

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