Muscle and Strength after Weight Loss Surgery || FAQ with Dr. Steven Simper
By: Dr. Steven C. Simper, MD, FACS
“It is the will and ambition of our patients who ultimately make their weight loss possible. Treating the whole person is a critical part of the care given to my patients.”
Question: Do you lose muscle strength after weight loss surgery?
Dr. Steven Simper’s answer: Yes, but very little. This has been studied by a number of researchers including one that works with us. Dr. Lance Davidson, PhD, is an exercise physiologist at BYU who has done a lot of research on measuring muscle mass in general, but has also looked at our patients. He found that our patients do lose muscle mass but he describes it as appropriate muscle mass. In other words, when you lose 100 pounds or more, as many of our patients do, is takes a lot of muscle to carry that extra weight. When you no longer need that muscle, you start to lose it.
My own personal trainer is a power lifter, and he points out that many people use their weight in lifting and doing other activities which makes them seem stronger, in many ways, independent of muscle mass. So, when you lose a lot of weight, you perceive decreased strength but when you actually measure muscle strength it has not really changed.
Remember if you do think you are losing too much muscle, you build muscle with exercise, not eating, so again try to stay away from protein shakes or drinks. They tend to cause patients to regain weight.
About the Author:
Dr. Steven Simper, MD, FACS, performed his first bariatric procedures in 1984 at Wilford Hall Medical Center, in Texas. Currently, he performs laparoscopic gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, duodenal switch, and revisional surgery. In addition to general surgery procedures. He joined Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians in 2001, and began performing laparoscopic gastric bypass. Since 2008, he has developed his skill and expertise with the powerful biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (DS). He is among a handful of surgeons who perform this procedure. He both proctors other surgeons and is a speaker at bariatric conferences in regards to the duodenal switch procedure. In following his patients, and witnessing results, he has become a strong advocate for this procedure in the select individual who needs a powerful surgery.