The gastric sleeve procedure has become one of the most popular bariatric procedures in the United States. More and more people are choosing the gastric sleeve procedure over other bariatric procedures due to its effectiveness, relatively low risk, and its ubiquity among surgeons.
Many patients choose the gastric sleeve in order to lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time. But how much can a patient lose per month, and what does that weight loss look like for a patient?
Before we go into that, though, let’s discuss a bit about how the procedure works.
How Gastric Sleeve Works
Gastric sleeve surgery is a laparoscopic weight loss procedure that cuts the stomach down into a tube. It looks like a small banana and holds about 2 fluid ounces of food. It resembles a sleeve, and thus the procedure is named the gastric sleeve.
This procedure removes part of the stomach which is responsible for ghrelin production. Ghrelin is also called “the hunger hormone”, as it signals hunger to the brain.
The new stomach sleeve has much less volume, making it much more difficult to eat large portions. Thanks to the combined effects of less ghrelin and a smaller stomach, gastric sleeve patients can lose a lot of excess weight in a short period of time.
What’s The Average Monthly Weight Loss After Gastric Sleeve?
Most patients lose between 2-4 lbs (0.9-1.8kg) every week for about 6-12 months. This results in a monthly weight loss of about 8 to 16 pounds. More weight is lost in the first month than in any other month, mostly due to the way eating is structured in that month. This weight may be water weight, however if a patient is asked to go on a fast before surgery, water weight will have already gone.
Here’s a hypothetical example of a typical patient’s monthly weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery:
1. Month 1: 20 pounds
2. Month 2: 15 pounds
3. Month 3: 12 pounds
4. Month 4: 10 pounds
5. Month 5: 7 pounds
6. Month 6: 4 pounds
After somewhere between 6 and 12 months, weight loss plateaus and more interventions are needed to stimulate more weight loss. Usually, a patient will add exercise and will start to be more careful about choosing healthier foods. These things will help prevent a plateau.
In total, a patient can expect to lose about 50-60% of their excess weight after a year post-op. But how is excess weight calculated?
Excess weight = current weight – goal weight
A patient who is 350 pounds and wishes to be 150 pounds has 200 pounds of excess weight. This patient can expect to lose 100 to 120 pounds after a year post-surgery.
It is up to the patient to make sure results are satisfactory. In order for a patient to get the best results, they must commit to a healthy, low-calorie diet made of whole foods while also living an active lifestyle with exercise.