Many people don’t understand obesity, which isn’t surprising given the multitude of persistent myths. Bariatric surgery has its fair share of myths as well, which leaves many people confused and misinformed. If you’re struggling with obesity or considering bariatric surgery, here are some facts you need to know:
- It’s not just a weight problem. Many people falsely assume obese individuals lack willpower or self-control. The reality is that obesity is a metabolic disease that makes it almost impossible to lose weight. Many obese individuals struggle to lose weight even when eating very few calories.
- Weight loss surgery undoes these metabolic changes. Obesity causes several metabolic problems, including slow metabolism, excessive hunger hormones, and an inability to feel sated. Bariatric surgery allows you to feel full and satisfied from small meals to facilitate and expedite weight loss.
- You will need emotional support. Many obese individuals have unhealthy relationships with food, such as eating for comfort. Breaking this cycle is an emotional process, and having a support system in place can help you on your weight loss journey. A nutritionist or therapist are good options if you don’t want to discuss your health with friends or family just yet.
- The health benefits go beyond weight loss. Many obese individuals suffer from several other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, joint pain, and type 2 diabetes. Weight loss surgery can lessen the severity of these conditions and even cure some.
- Bariatric surgery is not riskier than other procedures. Many people falsely assume that bariatric surgery is dangerous and full of complications. However, it’s no riskier than gallbladder surgery, and it’s much less risky than living with obesity-related health conditions.
- It works. You may be afraid you won’t lose weight after bariatric surgery, but the success rate is high. Some people don’t succeed in losing weight, but this is usually because they didn’t adhere to their new diet or exercise plan. Regardless, one study followed up with bariatric patients five years after surgery and found approximately 85% of them maintained their weight loss. Other studies found that bariatric patients can maintain their weight loss for well over a decade.
- Scarring is minimal. While everyone’s health needs will vary, most bariatric procedures are laparoscopic. Surgeons make a few incisions that are ½ an inch to an inch long to perform the procedure, so you won’t be left with an unsightly scar.
- Eating is hard in the beginning. You will start on a liquid diet and slowly advance to purees. It takes time to acclimate to your new anatomy and diet, which is why a support network is essential. These eating challenges are short-term, however, and you will be able to enjoy the eating experience the more you heal.
- Your insurance may cover it. Some insurance companies offer partial or full coverage for weight loss procedures. Contact your insurance provider to find out if they have any requirements you need to meet first.
Researching weight loss surgery can be scary, given how much inaccurate information exists. If you are considering bariatric surgery but have questions or concerns, we can help assuage your fears and provide the answers you need. Contact us to learn how we can help you reach your weight loss goals.