Bariatric Surgery Resource

What is the success rate for bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery, no matter which procedure is being discussed, is considered successful when weight is reduced by 50% of the original weight and that weight loss is sustained for a a minimum of 5 years. So a patient who is 100 pounds overweight needs to lose a minimum of 50 pounds and keep that weight off for the first 5 years after surgery.

While ultimately each person is unique, each weight loss surgery does experience different success rates. For example, some patients who undergo a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass have been reported to be able to maintain a weight loss of 60 to 70% of their excess weight for 10 or more years. This is double the length of time required to be considered a successful surgery. 1

A patient who opts for gastric banding can expect an overall success rate of 54% over the 5 years after surgery.

In contrast, a patient undergoing stomach stapling (vertical banded gastroplasty) can also achieve long term success however studies have shown that fewer than 20% of patients are able to keep the weight off for 10 years post surgery. This is part of the reason that this procedure has been falling out of favor with many surgeons.

Ultimately, success from any of these weight loss surgery options will decide on how hard you work at changing your diet and exercise habits post surgery. These are the factors that will ultimately decide if your surgery can be considered a success.

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