Weight-Loss Surgery: Myth vs. Fact
For many struggling with severe obesity, weight-loss surgery has emerged as a game changer to help people regain control of their health and improve their quality of life. However, like any medical procedure, weight-loss surgery is surrounded by myths, and distinguishing these from the facts can be helpful as a person starts their weight-loss journey.
The Truth About Weight-Loss Surgery
Myth: Obesity is a lifestyle choice and anyone can be successfully treated with diet and exercise. People with obesity are lazy and have a lack of willpower.
Fact: Obesity is a disease.
Obesity is a complex, multifactorial disease consisting of both genetic and environmental factors. Hormone imbalance and poor metabolism are the primary contributors. These result in establishing an abnormally high weight SET POINT that a person’s body will aggressively attempt to maintain. Just like our brain regulates body temperature, it also regulates weight. When people with obesity diet, several changes occur in order to try to maintain the set-point weight:
- Metabolism slows down
- Hunger hormones increase
- Satiety (feelings of fullness) decreases
This is why patients with obesity struggle to maintain their weight loss and often “yo-yo” diet because they are constantly fighting their body’s tendency to regain weight.
Myth: Bariatric surgery is dangerous.
Fact: Weight-loss surgery is as safe as childbirth.
Research has shown that bariatric surgery is as safe as childbirth and even safer than having your gallbladder removed, which is the most common procedure performed in the country. Also, for most patients, the risk of complications from comorbidities related to their obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, are often far greater than the risk of surgery. Studies have shown that patients with obesity who have weight-loss surgery significantly increase their life expectancy.
Myth: People who have weight loss surgery vomit all the time and have a poor quality of life.
Fact: It’s not normal to feel sick after surgery.
It is NOT normal for bariatric surgery patients to frequently vomit. While it is true that patients need to get used to their smaller stomachs, and some may experience vomiting right after surgery, as they learn how to anticipate the amount of food they can take in with each meal, all vomiting should subside.
New York Bariatric Group patient Brittany, lost 130 pounds after her surgery and says she has more energy than ever eating smaller meals. “Post-surgery everything is easier, including working. I work long hours, 12 hour shifts and although I do eat lots of little meals throughout the day, rather than a big breakfast, lunch and dinner, I am able to get through the day and I have more energy to do what I need to do all day long.”
Myth: Weight-loss surgery is very painful.
Fact: Patients are back to work in less than two weeks.
Virtually all bariatric procedures are performed minimally invasive, meaning incisions are typically smaller than 1cm each, and while every patient’s pain tolerance is different, most patients say that discomfort after surgery is similar to doing a lot of push-ups. Patients may also experience gas pain for a few days after surgery. Many NYBG patients go back to work 7 to 10 days after surgery. Anjanette lost 140 pounds and was up and walking the day after her surgery. “By the next day I was walking. I didn't go through a lot of pain and within a couple of days I was actually back in the office working again.”
Myth: Bariatric surgery is only for the morbidly obese.
Fact: Many people qualify for bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery can be an option for even those not necessarily classified as morbidly obese, but still have health issues related to their weight. These health issues could include type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and joint pain.
New York Bariatric Group: Bariatric Surgery Leader
If you are looking to start your weight-loss journey. New York Bariatric Group is the best practice around and have the numbers to prove it:
- Surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics, plastic surgery, veins, and medical weight loss.
- 36,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
- The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
- Access to online seminars, support groups, cooking demos, and Q-and-A sessions
- 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
- Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
- Since 2000, we boast over 23 years of success!
All of our hospitals are Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) accredited facilities, which is a prestigious designation bestowed upon only the top quality bariatric programs.
Stop waiting; start achieving better health today. Together, we’ve got this!
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