Bariatric Surgery Misconceptions
With obesity affecting more American adults and teens than ever before, an increasing number of people are considering bariatric surgery to help them achieve substantial weight loss. Yet, myths about gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and duodenal switch surgery run rampant. Let Garden State Bariatrics and Wellness Center set the record straight on the most common bariatric surgery misconceptions.
Misconception: Bariatric surgery is the easy way out.
This myth stems from the notion that the traditional way to lose weight – that is, dieting and exercising – is too hard for some people, so bariatric surgery is therefore “easy.” However, having an operation isn’t like waving a magic wand – rather, it’s a tool to make significant weight loss achievable for people who are 80-100 pounds or more overweight. It still takes months of preparation, involves a moderate recovery period, and requires making notable lifestyle changes to achieve success.
Misconception: Bariatric surgery is dangerous.
While any surgical procedure has risks, the life expectancy of obese patients who have bariatric surgery is much better than individuals with obesity who don’t have surgery. Plus, patients experience less depression and an enhanced quality of life after their procedure. This is possible because bariatric surgery helps to improve or cure type II diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and many other obesity-related health problems.
Misconception: Bariatric surgery is cosmetic, so insurance won’t cover it.
Extreme weight loss will certainly transform your appearance, but because of the health benefits associated with it, most health insurance companies follow the National Institute of Health (NIH) guidelines for determining bariatric surgery coverage. If you have health problems caused by obesity, the chances of having your procedure covered are higher. The professional office team at Garden State Bariatrics is familiar with the intricacies of insurance coverage and will handle all the leg work required to determine if your particular plan covers bariatric surgery.
Misconception: You can’t get pregnant after having bariatric surgery.
Weight loss procedures don’t affect a woman’s ability to have children. In fact, being overweight often contributes to infertility in both men and women, so bariatric surgery could actually increase your ability to start a family. Still, women of child-bearing age should wait 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery to attempt getting pregnant. It’s also wise to work with a gynecologist who has expertise in this area.
Misconception: Bariatric surgery is a waste because you’ll just regain the weight.
Most patients who have bariatric surgery lose more weight and keep it off longer than people who drop significant pounds with diet and exercise alone. For instance, the average duodenal switch patients lose 70 to 80 percent of their excess weight and keep it off for at least five years. On the other hand, the success rate for permanently losing 50 pounds or more with diet and exercise alone is only about 10 percent.
If you’re interested in learning more about what bariatric surgery can do for you, please visit our website and find useful tips on our blog. You can also contact Garden State Bariatrics and Wellness Center in Millburn, NJ: (973) 218-1990 or Toms River, NJ: (732) 269-6800 to schedule a one-on-one consultation.