Debunking Bariatric Surgery Myths

Debunking Bariatric Surgery Myths

person about to step on a scale

Bariatric surgery can be a life-saving procedure for many—especially for those at great risk for serious obesity-related complications such as heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, the many myths and misconceptions about weight-loss surgery make some people hesitant to learn more about this safe and effective procedure.

If you’ve heard some of these myths, rest assured there is plenty of scientific evidence available to debunk them, and to support the many benefits of bariatric surgery!

Here are some of the most common myths about bariatric surgery debunked.

Myth #1: Bariatric Surgery Is an Effortless Weight Loss Solution

While it’s true that you may lose a significant amount of weight during the early weeks after surgery (especially while being restricted to liquids and soft foods), you will need to adopt healthy habits to continue losing weight and to keep it off long-term. Bariatric surgery is a lifelong commitment that will require you to exercise regularly and eat nutritious foods to achieve your weight-loss goals.

Myth #2: Bariatric Surgery Is Extremely Risky and Dangerous

Any surgery or medical treatment comes with risks. However, the risk of complications from staying obese will outweigh any risks associated with bariatric surgery.

The mortality risk of bariatric surgery is 0.1%, and its complication risk is 4%, which is lower than that associated with gallbladder and hip replacement surgery. The best way to minimize your risk of complications from bariatric surgery is to adhere closely to your doctor’s pre-op and post-op instructions.

Myth #3: Bariatric Surgery Addresses Only Weight Loss

Weight loss is only one benefit of bariatric surgery. This procedure can also lead to improvements in many obesity-related conditions, including type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and heart disease.

An estimated 92% of bariatric patients with diabetes experience remission within one to two years after surgery. Evidence suggests that bariatric surgery may also reduce your risk of premature death by 30% to 50%.

Myth #4: Bariatric Surgery Is a Cosmetic Procedure

Bariatric surgery does not involve the removal of excess body fat and is not a cosmetic procedure. These surgeries help you lose weight by reducing the size of your stomach so you can eat less in one sitting. If your goal is to reap cosmetic benefits from bariatric surgery, dedicate yourself to exercising regularly after surgery, which can help you tone and tighten loose skin that results from weight loss.

Myth #5: Bariatric Surgery Produces Immediate Results

Weight-loss surgery does not produce immediate results—meaning you will not wake up from surgery thinner and without most of your excess weight. On average, patients lose up to 77% of their excess weight 12 months after surgery. If you stay active and stick to eating nutritious foods, it’s possible you may lose even more weight than average.

Myth #6: Bariatric Surgery Causes Nutritional Deficiencies

Bariatric surgery does not directly cause malnutrition. However, a type of bariatric surgery called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass involves rerouting the small intestine in a way that causes you to absorb fewer calories from the foods you eat.

If you have this surgery, it is important to eat only highly nutritious foods and take nutritional supplements to reduce your risk for any deficiencies. Your weight-loss team can help you develop a meal plan that ensures you get all the vitamins and nutrients you need to stay healthy.

Advanced Laparoscopic Associates offers several bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and LAP-BAND surgery. Contact us today to request an appointment if you are interested in learning more about weight-loss surgery.