Weight Loss Surgery Expectations After Body

Morbid obesity can be a very difficult condition to treat. Many people who are severely overweight experience the frustration of trying diet after diet, without any significant results.

Bariatric, or weight loss, surgery is a last-resort weight loss option for individuals with a Body Mass Index of 40 or more who have not had success losing weight by any other means.

The Basics of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery actually alters the anatomy of your digestive system to limit the amount of food you can take in and digest. The surgery helps patients lose weight rapidly and can lower the risk of obesity-related medical problems. But, like any major surgery, there are various complications and side effects associated with weight loss surgery.

After the operation, weight loss can sometimes be accompanied by other bodily changes, some of of which are desirable and healthy while others are less favorable.

Bariatric Surgery and Diabetes Remission

Many positive bodily changes occur as the result of successful bariatric surgeries. During the first two years after the operation, patients often lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess body weight. This weight can be kept off effectively in the long term if patients follow a proper diet and exercise regularly.

This is good news for people with Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 22 out of 30 patients with diabetes actually went into remission after undergoing gastric lap-band surgery, a type of bariatric surgery.

Other Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

In addition to weight loss and possible diabetes remission, bariatric surgery may help to improve or eliminate the following obesity-related conditions:

  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • sleep apnea.

Because Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol are all associated with a higher risk of heart disease and cancer, bariatric surgery may also help to reduce patients’ risk of dying from these diseases.

Possible Side Effects after Bariatric Surgery

In the first three to six months after surgery, as a patient experiences rapid weight loss, there are a number of other side effects that may accompany the shift in weight:

  • an achy feeling in the body
  • dry skin
  • feeling cold
  • feeling fatigued
  • hair loss and thinning
  • itchy skin
  • mood swings
  • sagging skin.

While the dramatic weight loss can be an exciting and relieving experience for people who have suffered from morbid obesity for most of their lives, many feel perplexed at the onset of strange side effects like itchy or excess skin after bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery may take pounds off quickly, but what most patients don’t realize is that skin that expands when a person gains weight often fails to tighten after the weight is lost. Thus, many bariatric surgery patients are left with sagging, unsightly skin after the operation.

What to Do about Loose Skin Following Bariatric Surgery

Unfortunately, exercise won’t help eliminate sagging skin after weight loss surgery because it can only tighten the muscles beneath skin, not the skin itself.

Many weight loss surgery patients left with sagging skin often seek plastic surgery as a means to eliminate excess skin. Because skin that is stretched during weight gain is permanently damaged, plastic surgery done for post-bariatric patients requires a specialist to perform a procedure known as body contouring.

Surgery after Weight Loss - Bariatric Surgery - Weight Loss Surgery

Body Contouring Surgery

Body contouring surgery works to reveal a patient’s new shape after weight loss. By cutting, re-draping and sculpting a patient’s skin, excess skin is removed and remaining skin is made more attractive. There are various types of body contouring procedures available, depending on a patient’s needs.


LocateADoc.com (2008). Do I Need Plastic Surgery After My Bariatric Surgery? Retrieved April 23, 2008, from the LocateADoc.com Web site.

MayoClinic Staff (2007). Gastric Bypass Surgery: What Can You Expect? Retrieved April 23, 2008, from the MayoClinic Web site.