Fact vs. Fiction: Bariatric Surgery Misconceptions
Many myths surround bariatric surgery, which makes some patients hesitant to undergo treatment. Dr. Liza María Pompa González and her team at LIMARP in Tijuana, Mexico, educate patients in order to dispel some of the more common bariatric surgery misconceptions. In this way, empowered and informed patients can make the best decisions for their health.
Myth 1: Bariatric Surgery Is Dangerous
In most patients who are eligible for bariatric surgery, it is actually riskier to not undergo treatment. By losing significant weight, obese patients are less likely to develop cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious health problems. Additionally, a New England Journal of Medicine study, among others, has concluded that adverse outcomes relating to bariatric surgery are low.
Myth 2: Bariatric Surgery Is a “Cop-Out”
Most bariatric surgery patients have already attempted weight loss through diet, exercise, and in some cases, medications. Usually, they have tried their hardest for years and have been unable to lose and keep off the weight. Willpower is simply not enough in most instances since genetics, hormones, and other uncontrollable factors often play a large role in patients' risk of obesity.
Bariatric surgery makes extreme weight loss possible by inhibiting caloric intake and the way the body processes food. Although it can help tremendously, bariatric surgery is just one tool to lose weight. Patients will still need to commit to lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and regular activity.
Myth 3: Insurance Will Not Cover Treatment
Many insurance policies do cover bariatric surgeries. Although bariatric surgery can help you look better, it is not considered a cosmetic procedure; rather, this type of surgery has notable health benefits. By helping you lose significant weight, bariatric surgery can reduce your risk for costly and complex health problems and conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Our team believes that empowered and informed bariatric surgery patients can make the best decisions for their health.
Myth 4: Pregnancy Is Not Possible after Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery will not reduce your ability to become pregnant or give birth. In fact, bariatric procedures can help in your quest to become a parent. This is due to the fact that added weight can contribute to hormonal imbalances and other infertility issues in both women and men. However, bariatric patients who want to get pregnant are advised to wait 18-24 months after surgery before trying to conceive.
Myth 5: Treatment Will Not Help You Live Longer
A sizeable body of research supports the fact that bariatric surgeries, such as gastric bypass, can help you live longer and improve your quality of life. Key vital functions, such as liver, kidney, and lung function, improve with significant weight loss. Blood sugar and blood pressure are also more easily controlled, reducing the risk of diabetes and stroke.