7 Misconceptions about Weight Loss Surgery
Leslie Albers, Bariatric Coordinator
Surgery is a “cop-out”– Not true. Patients having weight loss surgery must be prepared mentally in order to be successful. In addition to mental preparation, patients must follow strict dietary guidelines for six weeks after surgery and then continue to be diligent about food volume, choices, taking vitamins and increasing exercise in their lives for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES in order to lose the excess body weight and keep it off long term. The surgery aids tremendously in losing weight but a long term commitment is required.
It’s too expensive– While the cash pay price can be high, many people have coverage for weight loss surgery. If your plan covers weight loss surgery and you meet the guidelines to get approval, then you would only be required to pay your deductible or co-insurance.
It won’t really help you live longer– A study in JAMA surgery found that receiving weight loss surgery after the age of 35 drastically reduced the risk of death from cancer or cardiovascular disease. Not only could you live longer, your quality of life is likely to improve.
It’s only for adults– According to a study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, eight years after surgery, teens lost an average of 32% of their body mass and nearly two-thirds of teens with high cholesterol saw their levels drop into the normal category. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics noted that another benefit to teenagers post weight loss surgery is a lower risk of developing hip, knee, foot, and back pain.
You won’t be able to have kids– Obese women can be more likely to be unable to conceive due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. They also have a high risk of complications if they do get pregnant. Patients who have had weight loss surgery may be able to conceive more easily and are less likely to have gestational diabetes according to a Swedish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It will increase your risk for other health problems- While patients do have to watch their nutritional intake after surgery; the actual risk is no greater than from having gall bladder surgery. Weight loss surgery also LOWERS your risk of other chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease while improving conditions such as sleep apnea and asthma.
You will have the same risk of weight gain- After weight loss surgery, the gut gets populated with healthy bacteria which can help metabolize fat, boost your immune system, and reduce inflammation. According to a study in Cell Metabolism by Swedish researchers, these changes in bacteria can last a decade. In addition to these changes, the education, support, and the anatomy of the surgery itself can have a long lasting effect on an individual maintaining a healthy weight.