Bariatric Surgery Myths and Facts: Separating Truth from Fiction
If you’re considering bariatric surgery and you have questions, you’re not alone. There are plenty of myths and misinformation commonly associated with bariatric procedures, but despite the prevalence, many bariatric surgery myths are easily debunked.
Before you decide if bariatric surgery is the right option for your weight-loss journey, learn the facts about weight-loss surgery.
Myth 1: Bariatric Surgery is Dangerous
All major surgeries involve risk. With recent technological advancements, bariatric surgery is safer and more effective than ever. Most surgeries are performed laparoscopically and hold risks similar to that of a routine gallbladder surgery.
Myth 2: Recovery is Long and Painful
Bariatric surgery is a complicated process, and recovery time can vary from patient to patient based on several factors, such as age, overall health, and the type of procedure used. For those who have laparoscopic surgery, healing is typically quick with shorter hospital stays. Other methods of bariatric surgery have a longer recovery time but will rarely require more than a few weeks of recovery.
Myth 3: Bariatric Surgery Leaves a Large Scar
Most modern bariatric procedures are laparoscopic surgeries, which involve using small icisions to insert long tubes into the body. These tubes are then used as pathways for surgical instruments, allowing surgeons to utilize a wide variety of tools while remaining realatively non-invasive. Because laparoscopic surgeries don’t require large incisions, scarring is minimal.
Myth 4: Bariatric Surgery is the “Easy Way” to Lose Weight
People of all age groups can struggle to lose excess weight and keep it off. Bariatric surgery is for those who have been unable to lose excess weight on their own and need medical assistance in doing so. On average, bariatric patients attempt about 22 diets and exercise programs before opting for surgery.
Preparing for surgery takes four to six months and includes multiple assessments, physical tests, and psychological and nutritional counseling. Patients must also make significant lifestyle adjustments post-procedure, including diet, exercise, supplement intake, and implementing portion control.
Myth 5: Patients Need to Lose Hundreds of Pounds to Qualify
If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or a BMI of 35 with one or multiple weight-related health conditions, you may qualify for weight-loss surgery already.
Myth 6: Weight-Loss Surgery is Strictly a Cosmetic Procedure
Bariatric surgery is an accessible, safe way to mitigate the risk of potentially dangerous weight-related health concerns like heart disease or high blood pressure. While some patients may find improved satisfaction with their appearance post-surgery, it is not the driving factor for most patients. More often than not, bariatric surgery patients simply want to live a healthier life.
Myth 7: There’s Only One Type of Bariatric Surgery
There are multiple options available for weight-loss surgery. The most common surgeries are the sleeve gastrectomy and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Different surgeries help achieve different weight-loss goals, and the best surgery for any given patient depends on their situation and personal needs.
Myth 8: You Gain All Your Excess Weight Back Post-Surgery
After surgery, patients can expect to lose 50 to 100 pounds in the first year. About 50% of patients gain no more than 5% of their excess weight back. While results vary, most bariatric surgery patients keep a majority of their weight off post-surgery.
Myth 9: Insurance Won’t Cover Weight-Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery is usually covered by insurance. Insurance coverage varies by state and company, but many insurance providers offer coverage for weight-loss surgeries, provided you meet the right criteria.
Myth 10: You Can’t Have Children After Bariatric Surgery
Weight-loss surgery does not affect a patient’s ability to become pregnant. In fact, Bariatric weight-loss surgery can increase fertility rates and boost testosterone levels in men. However, patients should avoid pregnancy for two years after surgery, since it could potentially hinder long-term weight loss success.
Seek Out a Professional
At Tri State Bariatrics, we genuinely care about our patients. Our expert New York healthcare team would be happy to answer any questions, explain important bariatric surgery facts, and guide you through the surgical process. Schedule an appointment with us to begin your journey.