One of the most difficult parts of being a bariatric surgeon is offering our patients realistic expectations. Ultimately, due to the nature of the procedures, expectations can only be based on averages as each and every case is very different. Patients who undergo weight loss surgery are subject to many variables including success of the surgery itself, their body's ability to shed weight and eliminate disease after surgery, and their willingness to follow a new and modified diet, exercise and general lifestyle change after surgery. As a result of these variables, we can only offer estimations based on certain assumptions.
No matter the patient or procedure however, expectations should be realistic. While we look at averages, we also know that an experienced surgeon will often yield better results and fewer complications. Further, the patient who is truly ready and willing to change their life and lifestyle will be more than successful than one who is looking for an easy way out from the grasp of obesity. No matter what procedure you're considering it is very important that you manage expectations carefully so that the excitement of undergoing a weight loss surgery procedure does not turn into a disappointment when you lose weight at a slower pace than you expected.
In the end, it is important to remember that bariatric surgery is a disease resolution tool first and a weight loss tool second. It is not meant to enhance aesthetics - rather its purpose is to help change your life over the long-term, and in some cases, even save it. Spending some time with your surgeon and surgical team to understand the details of the procedure you will be undergoing will allow you to properly manage your expectations for surgery. The knowledge about the journey on which you will soon embark will make for a more satisfying pre-and post surgical experience as you set off on your path to a new life and improved health.