10 Misconceptions About Bariatric Surgery

By Guinn Garcia

Bariatric surgery takes on many forms and the right surgery for one patient might vary from what’s right for another. There are many misconceptions that people have about these surgeries that might hinder them from receiving the care they need. No two people are the same, so no two surgeries are exactly alike.

Before you decide on a surgery, you need to know your options and to debunk myths and misconceptions. Education on this surgery is vital before anyone makes a decision about it.

1. There’s only one kind of surgery

There are actually many different surgeries. Gastric bypass surgery reduces the size of the stomach. Sleeve gastrectomy removes all but a small portion of the stomach. Gastric banding restricts the stomach with a band, making it smaller. Each surgery has its own benefits and pitfalls depending on the patient.

2. Diet and exercise is enough to avoid surgery

Not for all patients. Obesity is a disease, and for some, diet, exercise and willpower just isn’t enough.

3.  Bariatric surgery isn’t covered by insurance

That’s not the reality. If you have conditions related to obesity, it’s actually much more likely that your insurance carrier will cover the procedure.

4. Plastic surgery is a necessity after bariatric surgery

Not always. Only around 50 percent of patients need to have skin-removal surgery, and almost none need surgery to cover scars.

5. Bariatric surgery makes it impossible to get pregnant

The reality is that this surgery has little to do with pregnancy, but most doctors do ask that you wait at least a year before getting pregnant. Why? If you get pregnant, the pregnancy may interfere with weight loss.

6. You’ll still need blood pressure medication and insulin following surgery

If you’re a Type 2 diabetic, this surgery could help  you eliminate the need for insulin. You may also see such an improvement in your blood pressure that you’ll no longer need blood pressure medicine. Your body chemistry changes, and approximately 80 percent of patients and 60 percent with blood pressure concerns end up going into remission with no required medications.

7.  Surgery has a long recovery time

Newer surgeries are primarily laparoscopic, which means that there isn’t a large area to heal. Additionally, most patients need only a night or two in the hospital followed by a two-week liquid diet.

8. Some people are too fat for surgery

This isn’t the problem, although for patients past the 500-pound mark, the challenges are greater. The most difficulties arise from co-morbid conditions, not from weight itself.

9. Surgery is a waste, since you’ll just regain the weight again

This isn’t always true. Patients who have bariatric surgery typically lose more than those who use diet and exercise. They also keep it off more of the time as well. They’re better able to maintain their weight loss.

10. Surgery is too dangerous for older people

While age can play a role in the safety of a surgery, it’s normal to see people in their 60s and 70s have successful surgeries. People in this age range can still speak with their doctors about the possibility of a life-changing operation.

Bariatric weight loss surgery is a life-changing procedure that is beneficial to many people and could help you get where you want to be with your health. If you are considering bariatric surgery or if you have had bariatric surgery, Bari Life has many resources to help you along your weight loss journey!


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