Gastric Sleeve Results After 1 Month and Beyond

A beautiful plus-sized woman in a sun hat and sunglasses is smiling while on a walk outside. (Model)

If you’re one of the 30% of Canadians grappling with obesity, you may be considering gastric sleeve surgery as a path to a healthier life. If other attempts to lose weight and keep it off haven’t succeeded, weight loss surgery might be a viable option. One of the most popular types of weight loss surgery—also called bariatric surgery—is the gastric sleeve procedure.

The primary concern of men and women considering bariatric surgery is when they’ll see results and how long those results will last. This is becoming even more important to consider, as injectable weight-loss treatments have emerged in the past few years that patients must continue for life to maintain the results.

In this article, we’ll explore the details of the procedure, how much weight you can expect to lose, and your gastric sleeve results after 1 month, 1 year, and over the long term.  

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery, or sleeve gastrectomy surgery, significantly shrinks your stomach, limiting the amount of food you can eat. Our bariatric surgeons perform the procedure laparoscopically. This technique involves using a thin, long telescope with a tiny camera. Images on a screen in the operating room guide the surgeon as they remove about 80% of your stomach.

A sleeve gastrectomy is designed for people with body mass indexes (BMI) of 35 or higher or a BMI of 30 or more if they have other underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In addition to making the stomach smaller, the procedure decreases levels of a hormone called ghrelin—the “hunger hormone.” Ghrelin’s primary functions include stimulating appetite, encouraging food intake, and promoting fat storage.

After gastric sleeve surgery, patients feel less hungry and fuller after eating smaller portions. Less ghrelin also plays a role in blood sugar metabolism, so people with type II diabetes also benefit from its reduction. A gastric sleeve also reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and other health problems.

Gastric sleeve patients can enjoy a wide array of foods while eating smaller portions. Unlike other bariatric surgeries, the gastric sleeve doesn’t involve putting a foreign object into your body or rearranging intestinal organs. You can read inspiring stories from gastric sleeve patients in one of our previous blog posts.

How Much Weight Will I Lose After a Month?

Expect intense changes during the first 30 days after your gastric sleeve procedure. Not only is your body responding to its new reality, but your diet of mostly liquids and pureed foods stimulates rapid changes. The average drop in weight is around 5 pounds per week. Men tend to lose weight more quickly than women. Some people lose 20% of their excess weight in the second month.

How Much Weight Will I Lose After 3 to 6 Months?

As you continue healing and engage in regular activities, you can see up to a 35% reduction in total excess weight. This requires following the dietary plans provided by a nutritionist and exercising regularly. The pace of weight loss slows about 6 months after surgery, but you’ll still notice a reduction. You will likely have lost around 50 to 55% of your excess weight at this stage. With continued dietary, exercise, and lifestyle discipline, you should continue to see noticeable improvements in your weight, energy levels, and mood. 

One Year After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Your target weight should be in sight by 1 year after surgery. By this stage, most people have lost an average of 65% of their excess weight. Patients also see improvements with comorbidities and other weight-related complications, such as diabetes, blood pressure, and the risk of stroke. 

Most gastric sleeve patients drop an average of 60 to 70% of their excess weight in a year. You may lose up to three-quarters of your excess weight in two years. Even more impressive, a study conducted by Swiss researchers found that participants kept off nearly 60% of their excess weight 5 years after surgery.

While no two cases are the same and several factors contribute to the success of your gastric sleeve surgery, on average, you will probably lose 8 to 12 pounds per month.

Gastric Sleeve Long-Term Results

Because people are different, results can be different as well. Even though you can’t change your genetics, the most significant difference in results for most patients is the quality of their preoperative education, commitment to behavioural transformation, and post-operative diligence to continue what they have learned.

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery is an effective way to treat obesity, reduce weight-related ailments, and improve your overall quality of life. It is not a miracle cure that prevents weight gain or allows for a free-for-all diet with no restrictions. 

Regaining weight after gastric sleeve surgery is likely if you return to your old dietary and exercise habits. Research shows that long-term weight loss after surgery is directly tied to food choices and eating habits. Behaviours like binge eating, eating when full, and consuming fast food or liquid calories are key contributors to regaining weight after surgery.

If you follow the instructions of your bariatric surgery team, exercise, and eat the right foods, you absolutely can lose your excess weight and keep it off.   

The SmartShape AfterCare Success Program

Men and women who choose SmartShape for gastric sleeve surgery benefit from our AfterCare Success Program, which includes 5 years of support from a team of medical experts. Choosing SmartShape also helps you schedule your surgery in a timely fashion. Wait times for bariatric surgery through public healthcare in Canada are the longest of any surgically treatable condition, with patients in most provinces waiting 2 years or more.

Take the Next Step

Gastric sleeve surgery and other bariatric procedures performed by our surgeons can lead to a more satisfying quality of life. If you’re ready to take control of your health, SmartShape is here for you every step of the way. We encourage you to call our office at (888) 278-7952 or request a consultation using the online form.