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Ten Misconceptions about Bariatric Surgery

With modern advances in technology lives of people have become easier but has led them to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle leading to reduced physical activities. People tend to sit and stay idle for hours with minimal movement and indulge in overeating. Poor dietary habits and indulgence in overeating leads to reduced calorie expenditure with respect to higher calorie intake. This has led to obesity become an epidemic in recent times. Bariatric surgical procedures have been successful in treating severe obesity- when alternate interventions have failed- by restricting stomach size and altering intestinal tract. Combined with a comprehensive treatment plans bariatric surgery offers great results for long term weight loss helping patients with an improved quality of health. However, Bariatric surgery like other surgeries have several misconceptions that makes people hesitant to take this route. We will discuss in this article ten misconceptions of bariatric surgery.

It doesn't matter which type of surgery you have

Surgical procedures aimed at weight loss varies depending on the physiology and health conditions of patients and hence there is no one size fits all procedure for everyone. Patients with diabetes would likely require undergoing gastric bypass surgery to reduce the size of the stomach bypassing some of the small intestine whereas gastrectomy is the best option for patients with BMIs up to 50. Gastric banding technique is best for candidates who can follow a strict diet and exercise regimen willing to have multiple band adjustments.

Surgery can be avoided with willpower, strict diet and exercise regime

In the very first place bariatric surgery comes into picture only when patients fail to reduce of control their weight gain with diet, exercise and medications for a relatively longer periods ranging years and even decades. Bariatric surgery helps curtailing diet by eliminating food cravings- the root cause for excess weight gain. Although, diet and exercise certainly occupy large space for weight maintenance post-surgery.

Surgery is wasteful as there is weight gain post-surgery

This misconception has no standing as researches have shown that bariatric surgeries have significantly reduced weight and maintain it way fairer than weight loss with diet and exercise. Swedish studies conducted over a period of 20 years have shown that patients who underwent bariatric surgeries lost more weight and sustained the weight loss in contrast to those with diet and exercise regimen.

Bariatric surgery is not feasible for patients who are too heavy

It is certainly true that surgery of patient over 500 pound can be challenging. Nonetheless, an expert and experienced surgeon can handle such patients at ease by mitigating the associated risk which may include cardiovascular and lung disease.

Bariatric surgery isn't safe for older adults.

Again, risk factors are associated with most surgeries especially for patients who are old. However, it does not eliminate the possibility of old patients to undergo surgery. Old patients can be assessed by the doctors for their chances to undergo the surgery and can certainly avail the benefits of weight loss even at a ripe age.

Surgery is risky and takes long for recovery

The risk associated with bariatric surgery is very low for most people, even lower when compared to gall bladder removal. The risk is not in opting for surgery but in not undergoing it, as patients are likely to be a victim of heart disease, diabetes, strokes and even cancer. Recovery from surgery too is very brief with a day or two in hospital and patients can move to solid food after two weeks of liquid diet.

You can't get pregnant if you have this surgery

Before bursting this myth, it is important to note that obesity often contributes to infertility as well as miscarriages and complexity in conceiving a baby. However bariatric surgery does not affect in anyway the ability to carry or conceive and even giving birth to a baby. However, it is true that patients post-surgery are advised to wait at least for a year before planning a conception as it might interfere with weight loss plan. In fact, losing weight is a step towards facilitating patients to plan their babies which was otherwise an uphill task.

Anyone who is overweight is a candidate for bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery changes the metabolic mechanism in the body to help reduce excess weight gain with patients losing around 50% of their weight within 6 months of their surgery. However, the surgical procedure is advised for patients with BMI of 50 or above who have failed in their efforts to have weight loss with diet control and exercise. It can also be opted by patients with BMI >30 with serious health complications such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, sleep apnea and likewise.

Once I get the surgery, I can eat all that I want without worrying about weight gain

Surgery for obesity is not a magic solution. It is the first step towards improving your lifestyle. Before surgery, the surgeon will give you a nutritionist who will help you make healthy choices. After surgery, observe diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight loss. Those who still eat calorie-laden foods with minimal dietary content are those who put on weight after surgery. Thus, obesity surgery is a lifelong commitment

Isn’t liposuction similar to bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is based on changing metabolic process in the body to help control obesity and resolve co-morbidities unlike liposuction which is a cosmetic procedure where fat is removed from certain areas. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove fat from certain areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. Liposuction is not usually a preferred way of losing weight or as a substitute for weight loss. If you are overweight, it is likely that you may lose your weight more by dieting or exercising or through bariatric procedures - such as gastrointestinal bypass surgery - than you do with liposuction. You may be a candidate for liposuction if you have a lot of body fat in specific areas but otherwise body weight is constant.

A healthy and safe makeover

In the end, Bariatric surgery does not only change your body but also helps in alleviating your risks from many serious complications from other life-threatening diseases and helps improve your quality of life. 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.