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Follow-up Is Key to Weight-Loss Surgery Success

Weight Loss Surgery Followup

Losing weight is rarely an easy task. Or more accurately, maintaining the weight you’ve lost over the long term can be very challenging...regardless of the weight-loss plan you choose.

For patients who undergo bariatric surgery—which according to the National Institutes of Health is the best option for achieving consistent and permanent weight loss for morbidly obese people—the key to maintaining weight loss may surprise you.

Surgery Is a Beginning, Not an End

Many people are under the false impression that surgery—sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass being the most common procedures—is a fast and permanent solution to achieving a healthier weight. Actually, it is just one step in a lifelong journey that starts well before surgery.

While surgery may provide a jump-start, you still have to put in hard work to maintain the weight you’ve lost. This includes eating the right foods, being active, and maintaining a relationship with your weight-loss team.

A Look at the Data

A quick glance at three important data points about weight-loss surgery tell the story:

  • Patients lose most of their weight in the first year after surgery.
  • First-year weight loss directly correlates to the amount of weight people keep off long-term.
  • According to the data from our program, patients who maintain follow-up appointments with their health-care team lose up to 15% more weight during that first year than patients who do not follow up.
  • Patients who continue to follow up with their weight-loss program for five years have the best chance of maintaining the healthier weight they achieved. Unfortunately, according to our data, only 16% of patients actually do this.

Why Follow-up Works

The data clearly shows that follow-up matters. But why?

Patients benefit from:

  • A team of knowledgeable cheerleaders to help them maintain or regain focus
  • The latest learnings on maintaining a healthy weight
  • Dietitians, exercise physiologists and other experts who can offer guidance on appropriate food choices and physical activity, and answer any questions
  • Connecting with fellow patients at support groups.

Bottom line: For the best short- and long-term results, make your weight-loss surgery team part of your support system. We encourage you to make a follow-up appointment with your weight-loss program or learn more about our program.

author name

Joseph R. McPhee, MD

Joseph R. McPhee, MD, is a physician specializing in bariatric surgery with Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery.

Education: A graduate of New York University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. McPhee completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School and his residency at North Shore University Hospital.

Call: 717-544-2935

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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