Realistic Weight Loss Expectations After Bariatric Surgery | Ascension

Realistic Weight Loss Expectations After Bariatric Surgery


Congratulations on your weight loss surgery! But now what? How much weight should you realistically expect to lose?

One thing to keep in mind is that weight loss surgery can bring you down to a manageable weight if you put in the effort. There are no guarantees that you will lose weight after surgery but it will encourage you to eat significantly less and will help suppress your hunger. Additionally, the average weight loss will differ by the type of surgery. 

What is Excess Body Weight (EBW)?

To help determine realistic weight loss expectations, let's discuss excess body weight (EBW). To calculate your EBW, take your current weight and subtract your ideal body weight (IBW). For example, if a person is 250 pounds and their ideal body weight is 140 pounds, their EBW is 110 pounds (250 minus140).

Gastric bypass patients can expect a reduction of 70% of EBW in about 2-3 years following surgery. Sleeve gastrectomy patients can expect about 60% of EBW over 2-3 years, while laparoscopic gastric banding produces about 50% EBW over five years. Newer options, such as gastric balloons and endoscopic (endo) sleeve, will result in a much lower EBW. 

In our example, if the person had sleeve gastrectomy, on average they can expect to lose 60% of EBW or 66lbs (110lb x 0.6). Their realistic goal would be to get down to 184lbs (250 minus66) with the help of the surgery.

Setting realistic goals will help determine your success. Remember, these are averages as some people may go beyond these goals, while others may not reach them. Your success will depend on your level of effort and dedication. 

The Ascension Weight Loss care teams are available to you before and after your weight loss journey to help you reach your goals. To reach our care teams, visit ascension.org/detroitweightloss

Mubashir Sabir, MD is a board certified general surgeon specializing in bariatric surgery, robotically, utilizing the Da Vinci Robotic platform. Learn more about Dr. Sabir .