In 2016, 179,000 bariatric surgeries were performed in the United States alone. As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, more and more individuals are considering the surgery as a treatment option. And while most patients do see significant weight loss immediately after surgery, continuing to lose weight — and keep it off — can be a challenge.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery upwards of 50 percent of patients regain 5 percent of their body weight within 2 years of undergoing the procedure, while a smaller percentage of patients may gain back even more. So what can be done to increase the success rate of weight-loss surgery? Experts on the topic and individuals who have achieved long-term success with the treatment agree on this: Surgery is only the first step. The secret to permanent weight loss is to make lifestyle changes that stick. Here are five vital steps to prevent gaining weight back after undergoing bariatric surgery.