Is WLS successful in the long run?

on 12/7/16 4:44 am, edited 12/7/16 5:50 am

Seriously, is it?  I would love to hear from people 5 years out at a bmi of 25 or under.  It seems like most people lose for 1 year, maintain for 1 year and then start regaining weight.  Often the people that maintain a bmi of 25 are burdened with ongoing negative consequences of the surgery.  Over the 10 years I have been reading posts, I have seen people join and then drop off the site.  I have watched people come to support group meetings and then get chubby and not return to those.  I have read that the "successful" patient maintains 50% of their excess body weight loss.  That puts most people at a bmi of 33...right?  Just wondering........  

Insert Fitness
on 12/7/16 5:38 am

I'm sure some of the vets will chime in, but I guess I don't agree with your definition of success.

While I understand the goal of a BMI of 25, if I make it to a bmi of 30, I will have lost over 200 pounds. How could anyone consider that not a success? Even if I still "look chubby". 

And a 50% loss of excess weight in many cases means increased mobility, reduction of meds, remission for many conditions, healthy pregnancies, and the list goes on. All valid signs of success to me.

I believe it's important to separate the aesthetic reasons for surgery (subjective) and the medical/quality of life reasons (more objective). 

Also, while the success rate is not 100%, compared to non surgical methods, it comes out miles ahead.

my two newbie cents for what it's worth :) 


RNY Sept 8, 2016

M1:23, M2 :18, M3 :11, M4 :19, M5: 13, M6: 12, M7: 17, M8: 11, M9: 11.5, M10: 13, M11: 10, M12: 10 M13 : 7.6, M14: 6.9, M15: 6.7


on 12/7/16 5:52 am, edited 12/7/16 3:37 am

Thanks for your thoughts.  Also I made a mistake on the math...40 bmi- 25 =15 and 40 -7(1/2 of 15) = is a resulting bmi of 33. Best to you. Tri 

on 12/7/16 7:40 am

"While I understand the goal of a BMI of 25, if I make it to a bmi of 30, I will have lost over 200 pounds. How could anyone consider that not a success? Even if I still "look chubby". "


-This!  OMG This!  This was a spot on genius answer! 200 lbs gone is amazing!  Amazing and so much better for your mobility, joints, and long term health.

RNY Surgery: 12/31/2013; 

Current weight (2/27/2015) 139lbs, ~14% body fat

Three pounds below Goal!!! Yay !  

Valerie G.
on 12/7/16 5:39 am, edited 12/6/16 9:40 pm - Northwest Mountains, GA

I am 11 years out from my DS.  My BMI is 27 and I wear a size 10-12 from my smallest size of size 8.  The average range of regain for the DS is 15-25% (note: stats are higher for other procedures).   I've regained 14%, so I'm delighted with my long-term numbers.  My original BMI was 46.

DS 2005

There is room on this earth for all of God's creatures..
next to the mashed potatoes

on 12/7/16 5:58 am, edited 12/6/16 10:06 pm

Thanks for responding.  Most people with DS do well long term.  Many doctors are unable to do them.  I was in the Restore trial shortly after my RNY because the stoma was made too big (he used the stricture resistant stoma make they were trying out in 2006).  The trial was stopped but Dr. Roslin concluded that saving the pyloric valve like in the DS and VSG was important in the long run.  I have watched people with VSG made too big be unsuccessful as well. I wonder if they can revise to a DS?  I would be delighted with your numbers as well.  My bmi was 35 the morning of surgery. I have struggled for 10 years and my bmi has been around 36.  My insurance will not pay for a revision although I have tried and tried again to get it approved.  I keep old fashioned dieting though...thus my name...Tri Harder 

on 12/8/16 8:40 pm

I love your signature!! hahaha

RNY March 1, 2017 with Dr. Reed.

on 12/7/16 6:36 am - Western 'Burbs Chgo, IL

My husband and I are 13 years out and have maintained the weight loss that is comfortable for each of us. 26-29BMI. He has lost approx 175# and for me 100#. We still go to support group meetings a few times a year. My doctor also broadcasts live and then records the meetings that are available to patients only via his website. We are getting older and do not always like to drive the expressway at night. Our labs are in line as to where they need to be also. I do not feel that a member of this site necessarily needs to be active to be considered successful. Some people have other things that come into their lives that demands their attention first like children, grandchildren and aging parents. For my husband and I we decided to not have any kids so I have more time than the average person and I recently retired. Another thing to consider is that many people do not have the time to post but they do read the boards.

Open RNY May 7


on 12/7/16 6:41 am

I like to think people are living lives like you two!  Wow your really are success stories :)

Glad to hear all is going so well for you both.  Tri

on 12/7/16 7:05 am

Hi Tri-Harder,

I am 5 years out and I'm at a BMI of 23. Maintenance continues to be a challenge every day, and regain is very easy if I get lazy and don't follow the rules. I'm glad I had the surgery as my medical issues have been resolved and I feel so much better. Do I think it's worth it? Absolutely!

Good luck to you.