Bariatric Surgery Statistics and Facts

Bariatric surgery has become an important tool in the fight against obesity. Many doctors have begun referring patients to gastrointestinal surgeons for the often minimally-invasive procedure and many physicians consider bariatric surgery to be the only effective long-term weight loss solution for their patients who are morbidly obese.

Bariatric surgery is a useful procedure that helps patience lower blood pressure, combat Type-2 Diabetes, reduce chances of heart disease and heart failure, and remove excess weight that may be causing other health issues. Yet many people still harbor negative perceptions about weight loss surgery and those who choose to undergo the procedure. Consider these important facts about bariatric surgery before you decide.

Statistics and Facts

  • There were 216,000 bariatric surgeries in the US in 2016. (ASMBS)
  • 50 percent of patients may regain a small amount of weight (approximately 5 percent) two years or more following their surgery (ASMBS)
  • National Institutes of Health Experts Panel recognize that ‘long-term’ weight-loss, or in other words, the ability to ‘maintain’ weight-loss, is nearly impossible for those affected by severe obesity by any means other than metabolic and bariatric surgery (National Institutes of Health)
  • Studies show that many people who have bariatric surgery lose about 15 to 30 percent of their starting weight on average (
  • Bariatric Surgery typically costs between $15,000 and $25,000 depending on the type of surgery and insurance. (
  • A study following people for 3 years after surgery found that those who had gastric band surgery lost an average of about 45 pounds. People who had gastric bypass lost an average of 90 pounds. (
  • Bariatric surgery can help prevent health problems like: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and more. (
  • Bariatric surgery typically leaves a small scar since the procedure only requires  3 to 5 small incisions. (Cleveland Clinic)
  • Gastric Bypass can remove 66% of excess weight in 24 months. (NIH)
  • Most people fully recover after two weeks (Cleveland Clinic)
  • After surgery, it is necessary to follow a strict liquids-only diet with gradual reintroduction of soft foods for up to 6 weeks. (
  • Bariatric procedures have a 85% success rate where patients reported weight loss and an increase in overall health(Cleveland Clinic)
  • 10% to 20% of patients require follow-up surgery for various reasons (NIH)
  • Bariatric surgery results in fewer wound complications and traditional abdominal surgery. (AHRQ)

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