Typically, we expect gastric sleeve surgery patients to lose 50-70% of their excess weight over a 2-year period, although the majority of this weight is lost in the first year, in fact, the first 6 months tends to be the period where the rate of weight loss is at its greatest. Remember, however, that 50-70% of excess weight is the average weight loss over this period. Some people will do better, and some a little worse.
Here's an example of what we mean by excess weight:
A 5ft 6in person weighing 17st (240lbs / 109kgs) has an ideal weight of about 11st (154lbs / 70kgs); therefore they have excess weight of 240lbs minus 154lbs = 86lbs. 70% of 86lbs is around 60lbs. So, after a sleeve gastrectomy, this person could expect to lose (on average) up to 60lbs (27kgs), which is between 4 and 4½ stones in weight.
It's important to note that the actual weight loss results for each sleeve patient are different, and how well you do will be dependent on your lifestyle. You will still need to avoid large quantities of high calorie food and drink. Regular exercise will also play an important role in achieving the best possible results. You will find more information on eating and drinking with a sleeve in our FAQ page, food & drink section.
Are poor weight loss results possible with a gastric sleeve?
Every medical procedure has a failure rate, and that includes the sleeve gastrectomy. A small percentage of patients won't achieve good results with a sleeve. Bad weight loss results are usually due to an inability to adapt their diet, or because of a lack of exercise.
It is also possible to regain weight after an initially successful period of weight loss. This tends to happen if patients return to old eating habits. A gastric sleeve is extremely effective if you follow our guidelines, but it is important to remember that it is not a “cure” for your weight problems, rather a powerful tool to help you manage your weight. If you consume high quantities of junk food and don’t continue to engage in physical activity, you may put weight back on.
Long Term Results
One key issue with the gastric sleeve is the lack of long-term results, and some experts believe that weight regain could be an issue several years after surgery. On the other hand, what evidence there is to date, looks rather more encouraging than some may have predicted. Only time will tell!
Excess or loose skin following weight loss
Due to the considerable amount of weight that gastric sleeve patients typically lose, it's possible that you will experience some excess, loose, or saggy skin on your body. This most commonly occurs in the abdominal apron, or trunk area. The amount of excess skin that you'll be left with following a gastric sleeve operation varies from patient to patient. This partly depends upon your age and weight before the procedure. Generally, the heavier and older you are, the more likely you are to have excess skin. Younger patients tend to not have as much lax skin due to greater natural skin elasticity.
Sleeve operation results & success rate
The gastric sleeve surgical procedure
is very safe, with a good track record. The operation itself is technically very simple, as it does not involve any cutting or joining of the bowel, unlike some other weight loss procedures. The simplicity of sleeve surgery is reflected in its low rate of early complications (3 - 5%), typically bleeding or leakage, and also the low mortality rate (0.1 - 0.5%).
How sleeve results compare with other weight loss surgeries
The gastric sleeve typically produces better weight loss results than the gastric band, and unlike the band, the sleeve does not require as many behavioural changes. The gastric bypass tends to deliver slightly better weight loss results than the sleeve; however, the bypass operation is more demanding technically as it involves dividing both the stomach and the bowel.