Long term weight loss and diabetes remission results
The reason some doctors say Weight Loss surgery (WLS) is the only weight loss solution which works is because many patients do not gain all the weight back. However, studies have suggested that the persistence of excess weight kept off after weight loss surgery is only slightly more than for dieters.
Another reason some medical providers recommend weight loss surgery is to control diabetes but studies again suggest that on the long term, surgery does NOT control diabetes for most patients.
Here are some of the results of the only large long term clinical study of weight loss surgery that we know about. It's called the Swedish Obesity Study. In the New England Journal of Medicine, some of the results were published. This is a study of over 2500 WLS patients (mostly gastric bypass and gastric band patients) but at the 10 year point, only 641 patients were available to be contacted.
The weight loss results were:
at the 2 year point post op: the average loss was 23 percent of the patient's weight.
at the 10 year point post op, the average loss had dropped to 16 percent of the patient's weight.
Here is a projection of expected weights for the average weight loss surgery patient according to the Swedish Obesity study:
SOS weight results
start wt 2 years 10 years
300 231 252
350 270 294
400 308 336
450 346.5 378
500 385 420
As reference to diabetes:
At the two year point, 72 percent of the diabetics appeared to be in remission but at the 10 year point, only 36 percent of the diabetics were still "disease-free".
Although we certainly rejoice with those new ops who show amazing weight losses, the results of the only ongoing clinical long term study of WLS patients are a bit more sobering than the ads or seminars. Remember those who hang out in ANY diet group, INCLUDING WLS support groups, are the small percentage who can keep all or most of their weight off - the average people who usually have more significant regains, are often made to feel ashamed and if they are members of an online group, they often stay silent. At seminars, patients with significant regains are often not welcome to speak out.
SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine: Volume 351:2683-2693 December 23, 2004 Number 26
Lifestyle, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Risk Factors 10 Years after Bariatric Surgery
Lars Sjostrom, M.D., Ph.D et al