Bariatric Surgery Misconceptions

Bariatric Surgery Misconceptions

There were about 228,000 bariatric, or weight loss, operations performed in the United States in 2017. It is an option for people who are overweight and simply can’t lose weight through diet or exercise. As with other types of surgery, there are myths associated with bariatric surgery, such as the following.

1. People Who Have Bariatric Surgery Just Gain Back the Weight

About 50% of people who’ve had weight loss surgery gain back about 5% of the weight they lost. However, studies have shown that most patients maintain their weight loss successfully. This means they gain back less than 50% of their previous body weight.

2. The Risk of Dying in Bariatric Surgery is Greater Than the Risk of Dying of Obesity

According to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery database, the risk of a patient dying within 30 days of their surgery is around 0.13%. This is rate is much lower than the death rate for people who suffer from obesity-related disorders such as heart disease and diabetes.

3. Many Bariatric Surgery Patients Become Alcoholics After Their Operation

Most people who’ve had weight-loss surgery don’t go on to develop problems with alcohol unless they had problems before their surgery. This myth probably arose because patients who’ve had weight loss surgery have a lower tolerance for alcohol in the period right after their surgery. This is especially true for those who’ve had a gastric bypass. Doctors warn patients to avoid alcohol as it can affect them much more. 

4. People Who’ve Had Weight Loss Surgery Become Malnourished

What is true about this myth is that there are weight loss surgeries that make it difficult for the body to metabolize some nutrients. Due to this, doctors prescribe vitamins and minerals for patients who have had these types of bariatric surgeries. Bariatric patients have the services of dietitians and nutritionists to make sure that they get the right amount and the right type of nutrients to stay healthy.

5. Bariatric Patients Are At Higher Risk for Depression

Patients who are unhappy with their weight and their inability to lose it may be more depressed than the general population. However, when they lose weight after their surgery, their self-esteem and outlook most often improve significantly. 

6. Bariatric Surgery is a Cop-Out

Some people believe that people who are obese or morbidly obese only choose surgery because they are not motivated enough to lose weight through diet and exercise. The problem with this is that the body of a severely obese person becomes resistant to long-term weight loss. Their metabolism slows down which makes it hard to break down food quickly, but they still eat when they become hungry. Bariatric surgery ends this cycle.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are wondering if bariatric surgery is a good option for you, talk to Dr. Louis Balsama. He can answer any questions or concerns you may have and help you understand what this surgery can do for you. To make an appointment, contact our office today. 

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