Gastric Sleeve Surgery Weight Loss – How Much Fat Can You Expect to Lose (In Pounds)?


Gastric sleeve surgery is a useful tool in the fight against obesity.

The bariatric (weight loss) procedure, otherwise known as the sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), reduces the size of your stomach, forcing you to eat less.

Once bariatric surgery is performed, gastric sleeve patients lose between 65% and 75% of their excess weight in the first two years.

However, percentages only tell you part of the story. You may want to know how much weight YOU can lose by undergoing the gastric sleeve.

To calculate your expected weight loss in pounds, it helps to explain a few things first.

To be eligible for the gastric sleeve, you must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40, which indicates morbid obesity. You can sometimes be approved for surgery with a BMI of 35 if one or more associated conditions are present. These comorbidities are the conditions we typically associate with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and osteoarthritis (aches and pains in the knees and joints).

A gastric sleeve not only assists with rapid fat loss, but many patients report improvements in the symptoms caused by their comorbid conditions. Those conditions could even diminish in intensity or disappear entirely. The patients who experience completely eradicating their comorbid conditions are often told to stop taking medications they had been prescribed for years because they’re no longer needed after surgery.

How Much Weight Loss Is Possible with Gastric Sleeve?

A cartoon illustration of a woman with a big belly.

The gastric sleeve removes 70% to 80% of your stomach’s tissue. Unlike the gastric bypass, which reroutes your digestive system, only your stomach is affected by the gastric sleeve procedure. Consequently, you are unlikely to experience a vitamin deficiency, which can be an unfortunate side effect of the gastric bypass procedure.

Gastric sleeve surgery requires small incisions and the use of laparoscopic equipment, allowing the surgeon to perform the surgery inside your abdominal cavity while viewing the action on an HD monitor nearby.

After cutting most of your stomach tissue away, your surgeon will leave behind a small stomach tube or sleeve resembling a banana. This sleeve is where the procedure receives its name. When you eat food, the sleeve will catch that food and prepare it for digestion. Since your stomach size is limited, your food intake is also limited. You will begin to feel “full” faster during meals. Unless you want to feel overstuffed, you will eat a small amount of food. In turn, you will lose weight fast.

The gastric sleeve also creates hormonal changes that control hunger and satiety. This means you will find yourself eating less by default, but you will also feel less hungry. You won’t feel like you are being deprived by not eating so much. Instead, you can focus on other things instead of food, such as how much weight you are losing overall.

Five Factors for Maximum Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss

Patients often want to know how much weight they can lose with the sleeve gastrectomy. Total weight loss varies from patient to patient. Some patients lose 25% to 60% of their excess weight. That’s between 25 and 60 pounds for someone 100 pounds overweight.

Five factors impact how much you can lose. If all these factors are present, losing up to 30 pounds during the first month is not unheard of and is, in fact, very likely.

Ideal Conditions for Gastric Sleeve Fat Loss

1. You take the time to find the best bariatric surgeon near you. Your surgeon should be highly skilled with an excellent track record of checking in with patients for years after surgery. A doctor who cares about your post-surgery health will likely help you achieve your long-term weight loss goals. Look for doctors with a healthy dose of positive online reviews.

2. You follow all pre-surgery suggestions. Your bariatric surgeon may suggest that you lose some weight before surgery is scheduled and will give you dietary and exercise guidelines to follow. Your bariatric surgeon wants to ensure you are healthy enough for the LSG procedure and that you will lose the most weight possible. Any advice given is done so with those two goals in mind.

3. You follow healthy eating and exercise lifestyle habits. You may already find yourself eating smaller meals. And because you are not as hungry as before surgery, you may crave healthier foods. This will make weight loss management easier months and years after gastric sleeve surgery.

Healthy eating

Your surgeon will give you an activity schedule to ramp up weight loss even more post-surgery. Starting slowly, such as walking after surgery, would be best to accelerate fat loss. Walking after surgery can also prevent complications like deep vein thrombosis and blood clots, which are common risks of gastric sleeve surgery. However, risks are mitigated by a skilled bariatric surgeon, so finding the best surgeon in your area is key.

4. You adhere to all post-surgery instructions from your weight loss surgeon. Your surgeon will tell you how to recover and lose the most weight after surgery. The advice may include a liquid diet before slowly introducing soft foods and more solid foods to your menu. You should follow up with your surgeon regularly and attend all post-surgery appointments. Your weight loss surgeon will want to assess your health every so often to ensure your weight loss is resuming steadily and according to your surgical plan.

5. You have an excellent support system. Even the strongest among us need a shoulder to lean on now and again. Those with friends and family rallying around their weight loss will likely succeed. Your bariatric surgeon can also put you in contact with counselors, psychologists, nutritionists, and fitness experts. You may also receive resources for support groups in your area where you can interact with like-minded people. With all those people assisting you with long-term weight loss, your gastric sleeve surgery goals are almost assured!

Now, let’s get back to the original question. How much weight can you lose with the gastric sleeve?

The First Month Following Surgery

In the month following the gastric sleeve procedure, most patients lose around 30 lbs.

Three Months After Surgery

Two glasses of watermelon juice with mint leaves.

After the three-month mark, you will follow your surgeon’s post-op dietary guidelines, which will have you transitioning from liquid to solid foods. You can expect to lose an average of 25% to 35% of your excess weight, which comes to around 30 or 40 pounds if you were 100 pounds overweight before.

After Six Months

Six months after surgery, your weight loss will progress steadily, though it could slow down somewhat. At this stage, after the gastric sleeve, you should find yourself losing 45% to 55% of your excess body weight. This amount equals around 50 pounds of fat loss, averages around two pounds per week.

After One Year

The first year following the gastric sleeve should bring you very close to your goal weight. Your weight loss may vary, but on average, patients lose between 65% and 70% of excess body weight at this stage as long as they follow healthy eating and exercise habits.

18 Months After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

It is now a year and a half after surgery. Your weight loss should stabilize by this point, though everyone is different. Patients lose between 60% and 70% of their excess body weight on average. That’s 60, 70, or more lbs., all by following your bariatric surgeon’s advice!

Three Years After Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery

A heart shaped bowl of fruit and measuring tape.

Given that all the above conditions are still present, you are still working with your bariatric surgeon by attending your follow-up appointments. You are still living a healthy lifestyle that includes smaller meals, healthy eating, and regular exercise; it is not impossible to see 80% or even 100% excess weight loss by the three-year mark.

If you were 100 pounds overweight before, you could find yourself at your ideal weight with 100 lbs. lost! All with plenty of energy and more zest for life!

How to Calculate Your Weight Loss Before Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Do you have a goal weight in mind? You can find your expected weight loss before gastric sleeve by subtracting your goal weight from your current weight. If you currently weigh 350 lbs. and your goal weight is 150 lbs., subtract 150 from 350, which gives you an excess weight of 200 lbs.

Now multiply your goal weight by 75%, the average maximum weight loss after the gastric sleeve procedure. 200 lbs. x 75% = 150 lbs. of excess weight loss.

If you went on to lose 150 lbs., you would go from 350 lbs. to 200 lbs. in two years!

So, what are you waiting for?

Experience the Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Difference in Los Angeles

At Healthy Life Bariatrics, Dr. Moeinolmolki often sees patients lose between 80% to 100% of their excess weight within the first two years following the gastric sleeve.

Dr. Moeinolmolki is a sleeve gastrectomy surgery specialist with years of worldwide experience. The doctor has discovered a strong correlation between the amount of excess weight patients lose and the healthy lifestyle habits they follow. You can maximize your weight loss by following Dr. Moeinolmolki’s post-surgery suggestions, including a post-op diet and exercise routine. Do that, and you could lose the excess weight for life.

You could also experience a significant improvement or remission of obesity-related health problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and high cholesterol.

To determine how much weight you will lose after the gastric sleeve procedure, schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Moeinolmolki at Healthy Life Bariatrics in sunny and beautiful Los Angeles, California. Dr. Moeinolmolki has the surgical techniques and advice to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Call (310)807-1735 and choose a time for your initial consultation that works best for you.

Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki
November 9, 2020
Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki
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