Long Term Effects of Gastric Sleeve

Long Term Effects of Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve weight loss surgery is an effective tool for promoting weight loss that is both safe and offers positive results.  Gastric sleeve surgery is the most common weight loss surgery performed today and is expected to increase in the upcoming years.

You can expect positive health results in both the short and medium-term.  The more challenging area is maintaining your weight loss in the long term.

With most weight loss surgeries, there is a risk that there will be significant weight regain as quickly as one year after surgery.  Gastric sleeve surgery is no different with its risks.

When you have gastric sleeve surgery, you have the chance of regaining your weight as soon as two years after your surgery.   Some bariatric patients require revisional surgeries to tighten their sleeve because it has expanded.

The biggest health improvements after gastric sleeve surgery include significantly reducing your excessive weight.  Most patients lose more than 60% of their excess weight.

Another significant long-term health benefit is the improvement of heart and diabetic-related conditions.  These improvements greatly change every bariatric patient's life for the better.

Monitor your mental health through weekly therapy sessions and journaling. 

Gastric Sleeve Long Term Success

Most bariatric patients lose the most weight within the first year after their surgery.  On average, most gastric sleeve patients lose between 60 and 70% of their excess weight within one year of their surgery.

Each patient loses weight in varying amounts depending on their current physical health and other health conditions.  The health conditions that in remission after surgery include:

  • Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Pain
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • High Cholesterol

Because of their remission, these patients no longer require insulin.  After your first year, the following years mostly consist of stabilizing your weight loss and actively preventing weight regain.

Gastric sleeve patients also with their reduced stomach experience a decreased desire to eat. Your cravings and hunger sensations are also greatly decreased after surgery.

These changes in your body chemistry aid in your continued weight loss success.

Overall, studies have shown that a gastric sleeve is an effective tool in managing weight loss and preventing weight regain as long as 6 years after surgery.  After 6 years, most patients maintain their loss of 60% of their excessive weight.

Remaining physically active helps prevent weight regain and improves your mental health. 

Gastric Sleeve Long Term Side Effects

An immediate risk factor you need to consider is the likelihood of an addiction transfer.

This includes transferring your addiction to food towards other substances.  Many bariatric patients, if they have not dealt with their mental health, begin abusing alcohol.

Alcohol abuse is a common addiction for many bariatric patients.  Research indicates that drugs, alcohol, and food highlight a similar response in your brain; therefore, these similar patterns are common.  Another aspect of addiction many bariatric patients struggle with is binge eating.

Binge eating can continue after your gastric sleeve surgery, or you may replace your food impulses with alcohol or drugs.   Alcohol has a numbing effect that helps reduce negative emotions, and for many bariatric patients, these emotions are difficult to process and manage.

To help improve your bariatric health, you must manage your mental health.  Mental health is crucial to your success for your physical health.

When you choose to have gastric sleeve surgery, your way of processing information in your brain is not rerouted.

Your thoughts, feelings, and reactions in certain situations require constant attention and focus on promoting change.

Skills in the kitchen greatly improve your ability to make healthy food choices. 

Long Term Risks of Gastric Sleeve

Some long-term health risks after gastric sleeve surround nutrient defficiencies and weight regain.  Researchers have found that after 2 years, the most common nutrient deficiencies include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc

Because of your stomach's greatly reduced size, you can no longer produce a large amount of acid, which affects iron, calcium, and B12 absorption. Because  of this, you will likely encounter times of micronutrient deficiencies.

Alongside nutrient deficiency risks, you also have weight regain risks as quickly as two years after your gastric sleeve surgery.  According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, 50% of gastric sleeve patients regain a small weight. Typically, a higher starting weight, especially a body mass index of more than 50, leads to more probability to regain the weight.

This weight regains typically occurs two years or longer after surgery.  On a positive note, most patients can keep their weight loss off long-term.

Meal planning is a great way to maintain your health goals while mindfully eating. 

Long Term Gastric Sleeve Diet

A long-term consideration that changes is your ability to consume food without any limitations.

After one year, your gastric sleeve diet changes dramatically.  You are no longer restricted from any particular food group or texture.

An important thing to remember when you are one-year post-op is your portion sizes.  When your stomach is fully able to tolerate every food texture and size, it is easy to overeat because of excitement or pride.

With this newfound access to unlimited food options, it is easy to overindulge, and you can quickly gain weight with your loss of focus on your health goals.

Some of your consistent long term health goals after one year should include:

  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast
  • Have protein with every meal
  • Wait 30 minutes to drink between meals
  • Drink a daily minimum of 64 fluid oz
  • Monitor your portions
  • 1-2 cups per portion
  • Limit your processed food
  • Eliminate carbonated beverages
  • Maintain a regular sleep and eating schedule

Some of the foods you should focus on eating every day are eggs, fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and fish.

All of the listed food options have a large amount of protein necessary to reach your daily protein goals.

Another great suggestion is actively avoiding empty calories.  Most gastric sleeve patients that are one-year post-op can have between 1,000-1,500 calories a day. Therefore you do not want to waste your time eating food without any nutritional value.

Kelsey Renae Schulze


Kelsey is a post-op bariatric patient who had sleeve surgery in 2018. She is a writer, focusing on a variety of topics given her background in legal studies and criminal justice.