Choosing Surgery

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Help advocate for people waiting for bariatric surgery.  Sign the Petition to request the Government of BC to fund more bariatric procedures.

What can I expect from surgery?

How much weight will I lose?

The rate of weight loss is about 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 – 1 kg)  per week.  If you lose weight too quickly, you are at risk for muscle loss, hair loss, and vitamin deficiencies.

On average, weight loss will continue for about 12 to 18 months after surgery.  For gastric banding, the weight loss goal is to lose 40% of your excess weight.  For sleeve gastrectomy, the goal is to lose 55% of your excess weight.  For gastric bypass, the goal is to lose 75% of your excess weight.  The amount of weight loss ranges from 30 to 80% of excess weight.

After you have reached your lowest weight after surgery, it is normal to gain some weight.  For most people, their weight will stabilize at about 10% higher than their lowest post-surgery weight.

Your weight may not change for a period of a few weeks.  During this time, your body is adjusting to the amount of food and exercise.  Continue to follow your nutritional guidelines and exercise routine.

Is weight loss permanent?

For 70-80% of patients, the majority of their weight loss is maintained for many years.  However, up to 30% of patients will regain weight.  As with other methods of managing weight, weight loss will not be permanent without lifestyle changes.  You may regain weight if you do not maintain healthy eating habits, exercise regularly, monitor your intake and manage stress.

How long does it take to recover?

Patients who have laparoscopic gastric banding will be in hospital for one day or go home the day of surgery.  For laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic gastric bypass, the length of stay in hospital is 2-4 days.  On average, most people return to work within 2 weeks.  Jobs that require physical exertion or professional drivers may return to work within 4 weeks.  You should be feeling better each day.  Ensure you are going for several short walks each day and practicing deep breathing to help prevent blood clots and pneumonia after surgery.