Realistic Expectations after Weight Loss Surgery
One of the keys to weight loss surgery success is understanding what is and isn’t reasonable to expect after surgery, and to plan accordingly. Some bariatric surgery candidates have unrealistic expectations of the surgery, and inadvertently set themselves up for disappointment.
What You Can Reasonably Expect after Surgery
Bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic procedure; it is a medical tool to help you lose weight. You will not lose much weight from the procedure itself, but you will from the lifestyle changes that you make over the following months.
You should see a lot of your excess weight loss within the first six months of surgery. At the six-month mark weight loss usually slows down, but it continues gradually for a year to 18 months after surgery.
Bariatric surgery usually results in loss of between 40 to 80 percent of excess weight and an improved Body Mass Index (BMI). As an example: if you are 100 pounds overweight, it is reasonable to expect that you will lose 40 to 80 pounds.
It is reasonable to expect that obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea, may improve or go into remission. Many of our weight loss surgery patients are able to take less medication for co-morbidities, or discontinue their medication altogether after weight loss surgery.
In order to achieve these goals, you need to understand the necessary lifestyle changes after weight loss surgery. Surgery alone will not produce the desired weight loss and resolution of health problems. It is a tool to help prompt weight loss, but it is up to you how you will use this tool to your advantage.
You must make good decisions about your diet and exercise. You must eat smaller portions of nutritious foods, and move your body most days of the week. You need to resist temptations while eating out or socializing, and you may need to be diligent about recording your meals and workouts in a journal. This is simply the reality of life after surgery. Committing yourself to these changes will improve your chances of success.
Because these lifestyle changes involve a period of adjustment, many bariatric surgery patients seek out support through groups and classes and relationships with dieticians, fitness trainers and mental health professionals. We are happy to provide referrals for these services if you are interested.
What Isn’t Realistic
It’s also important to explore unrealistic expectations of bariatric surgery. For example, weight loss surgery will not accomplish any of the following:
- Guarantee future happiness
- Solve all of your relationship problems
- Miraculously land you a dream job
It is up to you to take the steps needed to change your life. Deciding to undergo weight loss surgery and making healthy lifestyle choices is the first step.
Talk to Our Weight Loss Surgery Team
For more information about setting weight loss surgery expectations, contact Texas Laparoscopic Consultants by calling (713) 264-8024 or sending us an email today.
- BMI < 20
- BMI 20 - 24.9
- healthy weight
- BMI 25 - 29.9
- BMI 30 - 34.9
- BMI 35 - 39.9
- severe obesity
- BMI 40 - 49.9
- morbid obesity
- BMI > 50
- super morbid obesity
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