Common Misconceptions About Weight-Loss Surgery: Part 1
Not everything you hear about weight-loss surgery is true. Dr. John Angstadt knows that. He’s performed hundreds of surgeries and has met hundreds of patients. In this two-part series, he talks about three of the most common misconceptions about weight-loss surgery:
“Perhaps the most common misconception that people have is that these procedures are very risky. You hear that from a lot from people who have been dissuaded from taking action either by a family member or by something they read.
“The reality is that if you look at even the riskiest procedure we do — gastric bypass — if the surgery is done in a center of excellence, the mortality rate today is 0.1 percent. That’s actually a lower mortality than having your gall bladder removed. In the hands of well-trained surgeons working in a center of excellence where the protocols are all in place, the procedures are really very safe.
“In fact, if you’re looking at mortality ratios, it’s far more risky to continue to live with obesity and the co-morbid diseases you may have developed. If you don’t take action, your morbidity rate is more on the order of five to 10 percent. You have a far greater chance of dying as a result of complications from obesity that you ever will undergoing the small risk of an operation.
“The analogy I use with my patients is to think of this as getting on a plane and flying. For some people, when they get on a plane, they’re worrying about it crashing. But when you look at all the data, flying is the safest form of travel. You face far more risk getting in your car. It’s just that we live with that every day. We don’t think about it. You just kind of ignore that risk.
“And that’s kind of what people with obesity do. You don’t think about the risk you’re living with every day. You’re just concerned about the risk of surgery. But when you step back and a look at your whole situation, it’s far riskier to stay where you are than to move forward with an operation.”
Next week, in part two of this series, Dr. Angstadt will address two other common misconceptions that many people have about weight-loss surgery. In the mean time, if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons, call our office at (516) 616-5500, fill out our online contact form or click on “Live Chat” in the upper left corner of your screen to have a conversation now. We’re ready to help.