Jefferson University Hospitals

Outcomes of Weight Loss Surgery

Once a person is classified as morbidly obese, his or her odds of losing substantial weight – and keeping it off – without surgical treatment is about 5 percent. The unfortunate reality is that diet and exercise programs will fail approximately 95 percent for these people over the long term.

Surgery continues to be the only treatment that's scientifically proven as reliable in treating morbid obesity. Weight loss surgery causes significant – and sustained – weight loss. In fact, the average patient loses:

  • 60 to 70 percent of his or her excess weight following laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • 55 percent of excess weight following laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

Most of this weight loss occurs in the first one and a half years. After surgery, diseases associated with weight, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea, can dramatically improve or go away completely.

Post-Gastric Bypass Surgery

After gastric bypass:

  • Nine out of 10 diabetics experience dramatic improvement, or the disease goes away completely.
  • Three out of four people with high blood pressure experience a dramatic improvement, or the condition goes away completely.
  • Sleep apnea improves in almost everyone.

Post-Sleeve Gastrectomy

Weight loss is slightly less with the sleeve gastrectomy, so improvement in diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea often occurs to a slightly lesser extent. 

After either surgery, many patients also experience improvement in reflux, joint pain, weight-associated infertility, high cholesterol and other conditions.