Here are seven myths debunked regarding weight loss surgery and why it is “not the easy way out” after all.
#1. Weight Loss Surgery is Extremely Risky
As with any procedure there are always risks. However, multiple studies have concluded that most weight loss surgery procedures are about the same risk as a gallbladder procedure, or in other words, very low risk. An extensive well being check is also required prior to receiving surgery so your surgeon can determine if you are indeed appropriate which can include mental health evaluations, dietitian consults, and medical checks.
#2. All Weight Loss Surgery Candidates Gain at Least Some Weight Back
After weight loss surgery, patients can lose anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds in the first 12 months, depending on starting weight and type of procedure. Long-term studies have shown that 10 years after the procedure, more patients have kept their weight off compared to those who have simply used diet and exercise to lose weight. This shows long-term weight loss can be achieved through bariatric surgery. Patients are also required to follow up with their surgeon and a Registered Dietitian to help them stay on track post-surgery. Your at-home support group plays a big role as well!
#3. Pregnancy is Impossible After Surgery
It is recommended to not have children 1-2 years post-surgery due to the weight loss that is occurring which could potentially be harmful in a pregnancy and a baby’s development. The mother’s body is also changing drastically which could effect hormone levels and other important factors during pregnancy. However, after that 1-2 year period, there are no restrictions on pregnancy- in fact, fertility is actually increased with weight loss.
#4. Patients Have a Huge Scar After Surgery
In the past, this may have definitely been true. However, with current technology surgeons are able to perform most, if not all procedures laparoscopically. Other benefits of laparoscopic surgeries are less bleeding, decreased recovery time, and less pain overall after surgery- some patients may even return home the same day as surgery!
#5. Risk of Suicide Increases After Surgery
Although there are some suicides that occur post weight loss surgery, it is mainly in individuals who had underlying psychological conditions pre-surgery that was not diagnosed or treated properly by a mental health professional prior to their surgery. Individuals are required to meet with a mental health professional at least twice before having surgery to assure they are mentally stable in addition to physically.
#6. Patients are Required to Pay Out of Pocket for Surgery
There are several insurance companies that do cover these procedures. Insurance coverage varies from state to state and company to company. Typically, a patient would need to meet certain requirements for insurance to cover the surgery. The best way to know whether one meets all the requirements is to go to a bariatric clinic where all the necessary information is provided.
#7. Weight Loss Surgery is the Easy Way Out
The steps leading up to and post bariatric surgery are in no means “easy”. Patients are required to completely change their lifestyles and habits in order to make the most out of their weight loss surgery and maintain their new weight in order to be healthier. Although there are a small group of people that gain weight back, the individuals who keep it off should be applauded for their efforts and goal setting.