Recently I attended a lecture by Dr. Dana Portenier, a respected bariatric surgeon from Duke University. He spoke about a study published by their practice showing that a patients success after weight loss surgery can be predicted as early as at the 1 month post-op visit.
In the graphs below, you can see that for a patient with a BMI under 50, if they have lost 6% of their excess body weight at the 1 month visit, they will be in the bottom 5th percentile at 36 months. A patient who has lost 26% of excess body weight, on the other hand, will be in the 95th percentile!
Weight Loss At First Post-operative Visit Predicts Long-Term Outcome Of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Using Duke Weight Loss Surgery Chart
Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 8 (2012) 556-550
This is something that I’ve always suspected but have never seen presented in such an elegant fashion. You might ask, what is percent excess body weight loss? In order to know this, you must first know what your excess body weight is. This is simple: your excess body weight is your current weight minus your ideal body weight. You can look up your ideal body weight multiple ways, such as here.
So let’s say you weigh 250 lbs and your ideal body weight is 150 lbs. This makes it easy, as your excess body weight is 100 lbs! If you lose 50 lbs then you have lost half (or 50%) of your excess body weight. Surgeons will often abbreviate as 50% EWL or 50% EBWL.
Here is an excellent article that will help you figure out what your excess body weight loss is, and you can refer to the graph above to see where you fall on the curve.
One of our goals at JourneyLite Physicians is to provide the best outcomes for our patients, and given this data we want patients to adhere to the follow-up schedule of:
- monthly visits for the first year after surgery
- visits every 3 months during the second year
- visits every 6 months starting in the third year and beyond
We feel that more closely-spaced appointments will help patients stay on track better and give them every opportunity to succeed!
Click here to request a follow-up appointment.