Weight loss using conservative measures (diet, exercise, drugs, behavior modification, etc.) fail 95 to 97% of the time. The medical literature overwhelmingly supports weight loss surgery as the only effective treatment that stands the test of time. Data for weight loss are reported as excess weight loss. This is reported as a percentage of the excess weight that is lost.
Weight loss following surgery for morbid obesity varies, depending on many factors, including the patient’s age, initial weight, ability to exercise, and the type of operation. The average excess weight loss following a Roux-en-Y morbid obesity surgery at is 60 to 70%. Weight loss reaches a peak 12 to 18 months following surgery. After two years, it is not unusual to gain 10 to 15 pounds and then stabilize.
Absolute weight loss is not as important as quality of life. Weight loss surgery can cure or control many of the serious diseases that accompany morbid obesity. Most diabetic patients improve dramatically, many of them not requiring medication after morbid obesity surgery. High blood pressure resolves in over 50% of patients.
Unfortunately, this resolution may not be permanent and hypertension may recur later in life. Sleep apnea improves or disappears, often early in the weight loss period. The same may happen with urinary incontinence, acid reflux, or menstrual problems. Swelling of the legs and joint pain often improve. The changes in cholesterol and other blood lipids may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Many infertile women are able to conceive and have safer pregnancies.