How much weight will I lose with gastric bypass?
The average patient loses 65 to 70 percent of their excess weight. Initially in
the first two years they lose more, but later they regain some weight. Here are
A 300-pound person, with ideal of 150, will lose weight to about 180 pounds, but
regain to 200, for a permanent weight loss of 100 pounds.
A 400-pound person, with an ideal weight of 180, will lose weight to 235 pounds,
but regain to 260, for a permanent weight loss of 140 pounds.
These examples are not guarantees — they are averages. Patients with better eating
habits and better exercise habits will lose more weight.
How much weight will I lose with the lap band?
The average weight loss is approximately 36 to38 percent of excess weight in two
to three years after surgery.
Will I suffer from constipation after gastric bypass surgery?
Many patients have noticed constipation when they go on a diet. But after gastric
bypass surgery, the bowel movements tend to be looser, not more constipated.
How quickly will medical conditions such as high blood pressure and sleep apnea improve?
Within weeks to months following surgery, many patients see medical conditions related
to obesity resolve or improve, including high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic
heartburn and sleep apnea. Diabetes tends to improve the fastest and most diabetics
end up off their insulin and medications following surgery.
What kind of follow-up is required after gastric bypass surgery? After lap banding?
Gastric bypass surgery requires life-long monitoring. Patients are seen at various
intervals during the first year following surgery and periodically thereafter. For
lap banding, patients should be seen monthly for the first year after surgery.
What exactly happens to the bypassed stomach after gastric bypass surgery?
The bypassed stomach continues to work by secreting digestive juices. These juices
go downstream and start digesting the food after the lower-sutured connection.
Many programs have a long waiting period to get started with the surgery process.
What is the waiting period for Sanford's program?
This will greatly depend on your insurance requirements. Please contact your insurance
provider to learn more.
I know that many people from out of town come to Sanford for this procedure. I live
out of town and was wondering how long I'll need to stay close to Sanford following
For people who live more than 150 miles away from Sanford in Fargo, we recommend
staying in the area for one day after being released from the hospital.
Can I have children after having weight-loss surgery?
While there is no increased problem with pregnancy and birth after obesity surgery,
we recommend that you wait at least a year to 18 months after surgery to allow your
body to get over the first phase of rapid weight loss. When you do become pregnant,
we advise that you increase your protein intake and double your vitamins and iron
supplements. We would like to discuss your bypass with your obstetrician so please
let us know when you become pregnant.
Will my skin sag?
Yes, you will experience some sagging skin, depending on your age. If you're younger
than 35, you have more elasticity in your skin and this will be less of a problem.
Frequently a "tummy tuck" may be beneficial, but keep in mind insurance may not
pay for this. You'll want to call your insurance provider to be sure.
Will I lose my hair?
You may notice you're losing more hair than usual during the first four to six months
after bariatric surgery. This is common, and there's no need to worry. Patients
typically regain the lost hair in the months that follow. Reasons for the temporary
partial hair loss include rapid weight loss, the stress of undergoing major surgery
and inadequate protein intake.
Will I become more sensitive to the cold?
Yes, you will find you are more sensitive to the cold. That's because the extra
weight you once carried served as an insulating layer. We recommend you dress in
more layers until you get used to your new body.
How big are the stomach staples? Can they rupture?
The staples we use are many in number, but very small. They are not picked up by
airport metal detectors. With the technique we use, the staples do not rupture.
I understand it will take a while before I experience hunger again after I've had
gastric bypass surgery. What can I expect?
This is correct. In the first three to six months after your surgery, you will not
experience hunger. We call this the "honeymoon period" because life seems so easy
and the pounds melt away. At some point, you will begin to feel hunger once again.
We will help you deal with your new hunger urge in a healthful way.
When can I start exercising?
A walking program should be in place before surgery to increase your strength and
endurance. We encourage you to get out of bed the first post-operative day and increase
your activity level each day while you're in the hospital. Our nursing staff will
help you. By the time you are discharged from the hospital, you should be able to
walk short distances without difficulty.
Why am I required to see a psychologist before I can have the surgery?
Weight-loss surgery is often more stressful than people expect and requires major
life changes. After surgery, problems related to depression, anxiety and relationships
may come to the surface. People who are feeling emotionally strong and psychologically
prepared for the lifestyle change they're about to make tend to be at lower risk
for these problems. We want people to be well-prepared, both physically and emotionally.
Will I be able to feel the lap band port?
Yes, but it should not interfere with daily activity or sports participation.
Can the lap band leak? Is it harmful?
A leak in your lap band may occur, but is unlikely. If a leak does occur, it is
not harmful because the lap band is filled with a safe saline solution.
Can I drink alcohol?
You will become about three times more sensitive to alcohol. You'll need to permanently
limit your alcohol consumption to a light level.