Outcomes after weight loss surgery (weight loss, complications) are variable, not only between individual patients, but also between individual surgeons and programs. To get the best weight loss surgery outcome possible, patients must do their part, and surgeons/programs must do their part.
The patient’s part is to establish good eating/exercise habits after surgery, and to maintain vigilance over time to ensure that weight loss is maintained. The surgeon’s/program’s part is to do quality weight loss surgery and patient care (education, follow-up, support).
The surgeon’s/program’s role in determining outcomes shouldn’t be underestimated. Studies show a large variation in patient outcomes between surgeons/programs.
A recent 2017 study, for example, reported that the rate of serious complications occurring within 30 days of weight loss surgery varied 17-fold (yes, 17-fold!), from 0.6% – 10.3%, across 165 accredited bariatric surgery Center of Excellence programs nationwide.
This study was a big deal in the bariatric surgery community when it was published, because it was a high-quality, large study (145,527 patients) with highly credible data that showed significant variation in complication rates from what are supposedly the highest-quality programs nationwide. The obvious conclusion was that the 17-fold variation in complication rates was due to the fact that there were different surgeons at the different programs, and some did a better job at avoiding serious complications than others.
Countless other studies show the same thing – outcomes variation between surgeons/programs – although in a less direct way. Studies published by different surgeons/programs show widely different average weight loss results and complication rates for specific complications (e.g. leak, heartburn after sleeve). The obvious inference is that the differences in outcomes are due to differences in how surgeons/programs do surgery and patient care.*
The bottom line is that weight loss surgery is not a standardized, commodity product. If it were, all surgeons and programs, with adequate training and skill, would achieve similar outcomes. Weight loss surgery can more accurately be thought of a service, consisting of surgery and patient care. Details of how the operations are done (e.g. sleeve size, technical quality, etc.), and how patient care (education, follow-up, support) is administered, are variable between different surgeons/programs, and these details have a major impact on patient outcomes.
Read more about weight loss surgery patient outcomes.
Gastric sleeve surgeon outcomes vary
Gastric sleeve operations are not all the same
The patient’s role in achieving weight loss surgery success
Dr. Oliak’s #1 goal has always been to achieve the best outcomes possible for his patients. By always prioritizing excellent surgery and patient care, Dr. Oliak has established a long record (>2500 operations since 2002) of weight loss surgery outcomes – weight loss results, complication statistics – that rank among the best in the weight loss surgery field.*
About our program
Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss
Dr. Oliak’s gastric sleeve patients average 74-77% EWL (excess weight loss) at 1-3 years after surgery. Dr. Oliak’s sleeve gastrectomy weight loss statistics compare favorably with the industry average weight loss, which is generally reported to be approximately 60% EWL (Gagner et al).*
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Gastric Sleeve Leak
The most feared complication after gastric sleeve surgery is leak. Dr. Oliak’s gastric sleeve leak rate is 0%.** Several large review studies (e.g. Aurora et al) have reported average leak rates to be in the 2-2.5% range.** Individual surgeon leak rates are reported in the published literature to vary from 0% to as high as 7%.**
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More about gastric sleeve leak
The Ibrahim et al study quoted above found that the 30-day serious complication rate after weight loss surgery varied between 0.6% and 10.3% across 165 different accredited bariatric surgery center of excellence programs nationwide. Using the same methodology and dates as in this study, Dr. Oliak’s serious complication rate is 0.6%.*
More about this study
Long-Term Gastric Bypass Weight Loss
Dr. Oliak’s gastric bypass patients average 65% EWL (excess weight loss) at 10 years after surgery. The very few good published studies on long-term gastric bypass weight loss (e.g. Pories et al) report an average of 55-60% EWL at 10+ years after surgery.*
More about gastric bypass
More about gastric bypass weight loss
* Patient results vary after weight loss surgery. The weight loss outcomes quoted on this page are averages – individual patients can lose more or less weight than the average.
** Leaks can occur after gastric sleeve surgery. Past leak rates may not be indicative of future leak rates. Dr. Oliak’s 0% leak rate statistic applies to primary (non-revision) sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-BAND® conversion to sleeve gastrectomy.
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