Gastric sleeve surgery is a minimally-invasive gastrointestinal procedure that can yield substantial fat loss. On average, 60% of patients succeed with this surgical option long-term.

Success after bariatric surgery is defined by reaching and maintaining over 50% excess weight loss (EWL) without needing a corrective procedure.

The effect of Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) differs from person to person depending on post-operative diet, exercise, and behavioral habits. The operation should not be viewed as a miracle operation. Weight drop occurs in the honeymoon period but keeping it off is a lifetime duty/responsibility.

Will I lose weight with the gastric sleeve?

Knowing how much weight you will lose with a gastric sleeve is a common question. Results typically vary based on starting weight, age, gender, and overall health. Based on a survey of 726 patients, the average excess weight loss after one year was 67.29%, and two years was 60.78%.

Gastric Sleeve Average Monthly Weight Loss (Success Rates)

It’s vital to track calories consumed to ensure you stay in a calorie deficit by following a proper diet. If you add any exercise to the mix, you can expect to lose 50-80% of excess weight. Try out our bariatric surgery weight loss calculator to find out how much weight you can lose.

Short-term success rates

Months Post-OpSuccess Rate> 50% EWLTotal Patients
6 months62.50%3540
9 months61.36%3744
12 months87.23%4447
15 months84.21%3737
18 months72.73%1821
21 months90.48%2021
24 months60.00%710
27 months76.47%1317

Long-term Durability

The estimated excess weight loss (EWL) must be greater than 50% to consider the gastric sleeve successful. Long-term effects vary from person to person since everyone’s metabolism is unique and slows down as we age. Still, sticking to your weight loss program can help you maintain a healthy weight down the road.

Compared to RNY gastric bypass patients, gastric sleeve patients need to work harder to maintain their weight after the first two years. The reason is that sleeve patients do not have the malabsorption component.

Gastric Sleeve Success Rate Chart

– Gastric sleeve success rate after 5 years

After five years, the average success rate was 73%. Patients with a lower BMI normally produce higher estimated weight loss (EWL) and estimate excess body mass index loss (EBMIL).

  • 5-Year Success Rate: 73%

– Gastric sleeve success rate after 10 years

At 10 years, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy is steady (EBMIL%) between 51% and 55%. Some patients may experience inadequate weight reduction, require revision surgery, or undergo a different bariatric procedure, such as gastric bypass. About 19.2% of patients fail to meet their weight loss goals after ten years.

  • 10-Year Success Rate: 80.8%

– Gastric sleeve success rate after 15 years

A sample of 53 patients was observed throughout their 15-year weight loss journey. 49% of patients converted to gastric bypass due to inadequate weight loss (26.4%) or severe acid reflux (18.9%). The gastric sleeve patients had a total weight loss of 31.5%, while the revised patients lost 32.9%.

  • 15-Year Success Rate: 62.8%

Patients who succeed vs. patients who fail

One must avoid high sugars and fattening foods to succeed with gastric sleeve. Implementing at least a minimum of 45 min of daily physical activity can be as simple as walking your dog or going for a relaxing jog. Staying up to date on bariatric checkups is crucial in ensuring you are on track towards achieving your goals. Combining these elements will help you reach your target body weight much faster and can transform old habits into healthier ones. 30 to 45-minutes of

how to succeed with gastric sleeve

How to succeed with gastric sleeve

I) Solid meal planPlanning your meals ahead of time can make it easier to track your calorie intake while reducing the urge to snack on impulse. A proper diet layout can quickly turn from a good habit to a long-term healthy change.

II) Avoid high caloric beverages – Calories can add up quickly when you consume sugary drinks. Remember that a portion of your bariatric transition requires a liquid diet. Your stomach can only process liquids initially, but calories can still be absorbed.

III) Limit alcohol – Doctors typically recommend waiting at least six months after surgery before enjoying a beer, wine, or hard liquor. The sensitivity to alcohol can rise three to five times, absorbing much quicker since the stomach’s large fundus or reservoir is removed. Note that you are at risk of developing ulcers since alcohol can erode the lining of your stomach wall, leading to internal bleeding if left untreated.

IV) High Protein intake – This is vital if you want to succeed in the long run. Protein is just as important as staying hydrated since your stomach can’t process solid foods initially. You still want to ensure you are getting your daily protein between 65 – 75 grams since it will be the primary source of energy and food your body will rely on.

V) Physical activity – Exercise is always beneficial to anyone trying to lose weight. Parking further from the store, walking around the neighborhood, or going for a run is all it takes to burn some extra calories. Aiming for at least an hour daily is suggested as it can improve cardiorespiratory endurance and cardiovascular health while improving your metabolism. Work your way up and find something you enjoy doing.

VI) Support groups – You’d be surprised how many people have been in your shoes. Past bariatric patients can offer great advice on what to expect during your weight loss journey and how to manage healthy habits. Finding support groups can be as easy as a google search nowadays, and it is also a great way to find emotional support.

Why Gastric Sleeve Fails

Why does the gastric sleeve fail?

1. Medications – Common medications such as beta blockers can have side effects that could lead to weight gain. The major medications you should consider switching after gastric sleeve are steroids and major anti-depressants since they are a big culprit of weight gain. Speak to your physician for a better alternative that won’t have the same side effects.

2. Oversized sleeve – Although rare, some sleeves can be cut more loosely than others, depending on how closely they follow the bougie. The stomach will still feel restricted, but the oversized sleeve can, unfortunately, hold more food, and it could stretch out, expanding its size in the long run.

3. Long intestines – The small intestine has an average length of 6 to 7 ft. However, doctors found that some patients can measure up to 16 ft. Although there is no way to measure without surgery, having long intestines increases the surface area for absorption of carbs, fats, calories, and nutrients.

4. Continuing unhealthy habits – Consuming foods high in fat, sweets, carbonated drinks, and lack of exercise can counteract the effects of weight loss and quickly sabotage the gastric sleeve. A gastric sleeve is a tool, but if it is not used correctly, no change will happen.

Whitney before and after photographShay before and after photograph

Important Takeaway

The main challenge with weight loss surgery is how far you are willing to transition from your old lifestyle. Of course, there will be plateaus along the way, but most of the time, it could be avoided if you follow an appropriate diet and exercise regime while continuing periodic checkups with your doctor.

Incorporating new and healthier habits will ultimately lead you to reach your goal weight and improve your overall health.