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Bariatric Surgery

About bariatric surgery: Changes to expect after surgery

If I have bariatric surgery, how much weight will I lose?

Everyone loses a different amount of weight after bariatric surgery. A good outcome after bariatric surgery is losing about:

  • 1/3 (about 30%) of your starting weight
  • half (50%) of your extra weight

Many people keep losing weight 12 to 18 months after surgery.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what’s a realistic weight-loss goal for you. It’s important to understand that reaching a normal or ideal weight within a range from a BMI chart is not a realistic goal.

Can I gain weight back after having bariatric surgery?

Yes, you may gain weight back after having bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a treatment for obesity, but it’s not a cure. Some people gain back some of their weight 2 to 5 years after surgery. A few people may gain back all of their weight after the surgery.

What lifestyle changes will I have to make?

Obesity is a disease that needs to be managed with a long-term plan. After surgery, it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle that includes:

  • healthy eating habits
  • taking vitamin and mineral supplements as instructed
  • making time for physical activity each day
  • keeping track of your goals in a journal
  • keeping track of your weight
  • managing your stress
  • getting enough sleep
  • getting support from others, such as a support group or friends and family
  • following up with your healthcare team

See After your surgery to learn more about what you’ll need to do after having bariatric surgery.

Will my eating habits need to change after surgery?

Yes. Bariatric surgery changes the size of your stomach and how it works. After bariatric surgery, you’ll have to make many changes to what you eat and how you eat. This includes:

  • choosing small amounts (portions) of food
  • eating slowly and chewing your food well
  • taking vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of your life

Talk to a dietitian to about healthy eating. See Eating well after bariatric surgery to learn more about healthy eating.​

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