Surgical Weight Loss

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Before considering surgery, you should work with your physician to make lifestyle changes to lose weight. These include changes to your diet, eating habits, and level of physical activity. If you still remain severely obese or still have complications from obesity, here are some of the ways weight loss surgery can help:

  • Your stomach won't hold as much food. This will help you eat smaller portions and take in fewer calories. Prior to surgery, your stomach can hold about 6 1/2 cups of food. After surgery, your stomach pouch may hold about 1/2 to 1 cup of food, depending on the type of surgery you have.


  • Food will pass more slowly from your stomach pouch to your intestine. This allows you to feel full much longer after eating. Other changes in the body's signaling mechanisms may also decrease the desire to eat.
  • Depending on what type of surgery you have, you may absorb calories differently.
  • Depending on the type of surgery you have, you could lose 40 - 80%, or more, of your excess weight within 2 to 3 years.
  • Although some weight rebound may occur, many people can keep off about 100 pounds or maintain 50% of their weight loss for the long term.
  • Many of the serious complications of obesity may resolve or improve after weight loss, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, joint pain, and bladder problems.

Talk to your doctor about whether surgery might be right for you. And remember, after weight loss surgery, lifestyle changes are absolutely necessary to bring down your weight and keep it off.

Review Date: 12/16/2012

Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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