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10 Myths of Bariatric Surgery You Must Know

7 March

Obesity is not a disease but it can affect the functioning of other organs. It can affect the overall health of an individual. Most doctors suggest diet tips and exercising to reduce weight in obese people. But, some people are unable to manage their diet and exercise due to which they are not able to lose weight. In such cases, doctors recommend bariatric surgery as the best treatment option for obesity.

Bariatric surgery is a surgical weight-loss treatment recommended for severely obese people. The surgery is performed by expert surgeons who have done specialization in this field. There are different types of bariatric surgeries and the best option depends on different factors. Your doctor will suggest the best type of bariatric surgery after measuring several body parameters and considering other factors. Different types of bariatric surgeries are given here:

  • Gastric bypass surgery: This is a type of surgery in which the size of the stomach is reduced to reduce the intake of food. This type of surgery is suitable for people who have a BMI>40 and who are suffering from diabetes.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: In this type of surgery, a part of the stomach is excised like a tubular Sleeve. It is the most common type of weight loss surgery. This helps in reducing weight as this type of surgery reduces the secretion of hunger hormone due to the removal of most of the stomach.

People have several myths about bariatric surgery due to which they do not make a quick decision. In this article, we will discuss 10 myths of bariatric surgery you must know.

Myth 1: Bariatric surgery is not safe
Everyone knows that every surgery comes with some risks. But, advancement in technology used for surgery has reduced the risks to a greater extent. Studies show that the risk for bariatric surgery is not greater than any other general surgery.

Myth 2: Surgery is not needed and can be controlled with diet and exercise
There is no doubt that doctors suggest diet and exercise reduce weight but for some patients who are overweight, diet and exercise are not enough. Studies suggest that diet and exercise can help to reduce weight to some extent but people will gain the weight back once they stop doing diet and exercise and thus do yo-yo dieting.

Myth 3: Results are not long-lasting
After bariatric surgery, people can lose weight between 30 to 50 kg in the first year. Studies show that 10 years after the surgery, most patients do not regain weight and this helps in maintaining long-lasting results from bariatric surgery.

Myth 4: It is not possible to have children after bariatric surgery
Patients who choose bariatric surgery to lose weight can conceive after 18 months of surgery. They must wait for one and half years because this surgery aims to lose weight but during pregnancy, a woman gains weight. Weight loss also increases fertility. In women, surgery increases fertility by reducing weight and in men, surgery increases fertility by increasing testosterone hormone thus attaining hormonal balance.

Myth 5: Bariatric surgery is not covered by insurance
Many insurance companies cover bariatric surgery procedures. Insurance coverage may be different for different companies and state to state. Some requirements should be met before getting insurance coverage. You can get complete information from the hospital that deals in bariatric surgery.

Myth 6: Bariatric surgery will make a big scar
Many people believe that bariatric surgery leaves a big scar but it is a myth because new technologies and techniques have made it possible to cause no scar on your body. Most surgeries are performed using pinhole surgery which is also called laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery does not cause much scarring and helps in quick recovery, less pain, and minimum blood loss.

Myth 7: You can eat whatever you like after bariatric surgery
Many people believe that they can eat anything after bariatric surgery but it is not true. Doctors will put you on a restricted or post-surgery diet. This will help in getting quick and better results of bariatric surgery and also puts you at a lower risk of complications. Your doctor will put you on a restricted diet before surgery so that you get used to it after surgery. You have to take a liquid diet before surgery and may have to continue the same for a couple of weeks after the surgery.

Myth 8: People become skinny after bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery does not help to lose all of your weight. Most patients lose 50 percent of their actual weight. For example, if a person weighs 110 kilograms before surgery, he/she will have 55 kilograms of weight after surgery. The skin does not droop after weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery can also offer other health benefits such as reducing sleep apnea which is a common problem in obese people.

Myth 9: Gastric problems occur commonly after bariatric surgery
Many people believe that gastric problems are common after bariatric surgery. It is not true. You may suffer acidity sometimes for a few days after surgery but your digestive system will become adapted to the new diet and your symptoms will go away.

Myth 10: People who choose bariatric surgery suffer from depression
Obese people try different methods to lose weight without getting any fruitful results. Many people struggle for years to manage weight. When they visit the doctor to consult about bariatric surgery they can get information about the risks and benefits associated with the surgery. The doctors prepare the patients and tell them everything about the surgery. They encourage the patients that help them to recover quickly. Now that the myths have been busted, if you think you are the right candidate, talk to your doctor today.

Dr. Krishnamohan. Y

Clinical Director, Department of Minimal Access, Metabolic. Bariatric & GI surgery
MBBS, MS, FAIS, FMIS, FIAGES, FICS (USA)
CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad

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