If you’re trying to lose a significant amount of weight and feel like the odds are stacked against you...you may be right. According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Experts Panel, people with severe obesity may be resistant to long-term weight loss using only diet and exercise. Severe obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 35 and at least one serious obesity-related health condition, or someone who is more than 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. For some people living with severe obesity, bariatric surgery may be an effective option.
What Bariatric Surgery Can Do for People Who Want to Lose Weight
Bariatric surgery works by changing the anatomy of the stomach and digestive system or by causing physiologic changes that impact fat metabolism or enhance calories burned. After bariatric surgery, appetite and hunger may decrease, as the procedure may affect the production of certain intestinal hormones.
As many as 90 percent of people with severe obesity who opt to have bariatric surgery are able to achieve long-term weight loss success. Patients often experience more benefits in addition to weight loss. Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve or even resolve type 2 diabetes and other conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.
How Much Weight Can Someone Expect to Lose After Bariatric Surgery?
At the Chicago Center for Bariatric Surgery & Medical Weight Loss, we invite people living with obesity to learn how weight loss surgery can help them “live lighter.” But a common question is—how much lighter? The amount of weight loss after bariatric surgery may depend on a number of factors, including an individual’s body type, the kind of bariatric surgery performed, and the degree of commitment to behaviors that support maintaining long-term weight loss.
“Diets have almost a 95 percent failure rate,” says Frederick M. Tiesenga, M.D., Medical Director for the Chicago Center for Bariatric Surgery & Medical Weight Loss. “Bariatric surgery is the most effective tool for patients who are morbidly obese to lose their weight.”
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), most people maintain successful long-term weight loss after bariatric surgery, or weight loss equal to or more than 50 percent of excess body weight. Excess body weight can be found by subtracting your ideal weight from your current weight—so if your current weight is 300 pounds, and your ideal weight is 160 pounds, your excess body weight is 140 pounds.
Different surgical procedures have different averages for how much weight you can expect to lose after bariatric surgery:
- Gastric Sleeve: 60 percent of excess weight
- Gastric Bypass: 70 percent of excess weight
- Gastric Band: 50 percent of excess weight
- Loop Duodenal Switch: 80 percent of excess weight
These averages mean that many patients achieve more weight loss than expected, and some achieve less.
How Can You Tip the Scales in Favor of Long-term Weight Loss?
The Chicago Center for Bariatric Surgery & Medical Weight Loss at West Suburban Medical Center is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), which requires a rigorous peer evaluation of nationally-recognized bariatric surgery standards. Because the Bariatric Center has achieved this recognition and is committed to continuous quality improvement, the program has a framework designed to help patients maintain weight loss successfully in the long term.
The Center for Bariatric Surgery & Medical Weight Loss at West Suburban Medical Center has also been designated as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Bariatric Surgery. Our bariatric team achieved this “plus” certification for delivering high-quality, safe and cost-effective care. Learn more.
The groundwork for life-changing weight loss begins before bariatric surgery. To provide patients with the tools needed to succeed, the Bariatric Center offers a structured approach, providing nutrition education and informational sessions prior to surgery, in addition to providing support afterwards.
“Learning how to eat, learning how to change my life before I had the surgery—that meant the world to me,” says Shartice, a Bariatric Center patient.
West Suburban Medical Center offers a free, monthly bariatric support group at the River Forest Medical Campus. This informal meeting is facilitated by the program’s registered dietitian, and is a place where people can find emotional and moral support for the weight loss journey.
“It’s almost two years, since I had the weight loss surgery,” says Shartice. “And they’re still there for me. And you can’t beat that—that’s a good feeling….that is the best feeling in the world. You are not alone.”
Bariatric Surgery at West Suburban Medical Center
Surgeons at West Suburban Medical Center have performed more than 3,000 bariatric surgeries. Bariatric surgery options at West Suburban Medical Center include:
- Gastric Sleeve or Sleeve Gastrectomy: This surgery reduces the size of the stomach, helping patients feel full quicker.
- Gastric Bypass Surgery or Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: In this surgery, a large portion of the stomach is “bypassed”, creating a small stomach pouch, helping patients eat less without feeling hungry.
- Lap-Band ® Surgery or Gastric Banding: In Lap-Band ® surgery, an inflatable device is placed around the top portion of the stomach. The band can be adjusted regularly by the surgeon, offering steady weight for many patients.
- Loop Duodenal Switch (DS): This procedure both reduces the size of the stomach and the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body, by reducing the size of the small intestine. It’s a complex procedure but often offers excellent long-term weight loss results.
- Stomach Intestinal Pylorus-Sparing Surgery (SIPS): This is a similar, but less complicated surgery than the Loop Duodenal Switch for patients with severe obesity.
- Robotic bariatric surgery: Jaquito (Jay) Jorge, M.D., performed the first robotic bariatric surgery at West Suburban Medical Center. Robotic surgery is minimally invasive and may result in less blood loss, less pain, and a shorter hospital stay.
- Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon (EIB): In this non-surgical option, an inflatable silicone balloon is placed endoscopically into the stomach and filled with a saline solution, removed after six months.
Download a free information ebook on bariatric surgery to learn more and to see if bariatric surgery may be right for you.