ive years after weight loss surgery, obese patients may regain many of the pounds they initially shed, a new study from Israel suggests.While Weight Loss Surgery remains more effective for lasting weight loss than alternatives such as dieting and exercising, said lead study author Dr. Andrei Keidar, the study findings suggest that doctors still have more to learn about which patients will get the most benefit from operations and what strategies can make the initial results stick.

“The first year after Weight Loss Surgery is usually a honeymoon period that should be used for coining new habits, and the ones that don’t do that regain weight,” Keidar, a researcher at Tel Aviv University, said by email. “Don’t take Weight Loss Surgery as a panacea – beware of bad eating habits.”

Keidar and colleagues followed 443 obese patients who had sleeve gastrectomy procedures to see how much weight they lost and whether they experienced improvements in other health problems tied to obesity such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.After one year, the participants still in the study had lost 77% of their body weight on average, but they slid back toward to their original weight as time passed. At three years, they were still down by 70% of their original weight, and just 56% at five years.About half of the patients with diabetes experienced complete remission after one year. In this, too, patients backslid over time, with just 38% in complete remission after three years and only 20% at five years.

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