By Alex Concepcion
In recent years, technological advancements have allowed for bariatric surgery to become less invasive. As a result, it has become an increasingly common procedure. Still, several myths about bariatric surgery persist. Ultimately, accurate and up-to-date information enables you to make the best decision for your health. With that in mind, let’s bust a few myths you’ve probably heard regarding weight-loss surgery.
Myth#1: Patients must be severely obese to benefit from a bariatric procedure
People often believe that weight-loss surgery is only an option for people who are morbidly obese. We regularly hear from those under the impression that patients have to be hundreds of pounds overweight. In reality, this could not be farther from the truth. Bariatric surgery is a highly-effective method of early intervention.
This myth appears to spring from the fact that most insurance companies and clinics only approve bariatric procedures for people who are severely obese, or who have developed an obesity-related disease such as Type 2 diabetes. However, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recently published a study to challenge these outdated guidelines. This study tracked two patient groups; one with BMIs between 30 and 35, the other with BMIs over 40. A year after weight loss surgery, 36.3% of the patients with lower BMIs achieved a healthy BMI of 25 or below. Only six percent of the severely obese group accomplished the same goal. The study’s results indicate that patients with lower BMIs between 30 and 35 have much better chances of reaching a healthy weight and remission of Type 2 diabetes after weight loss surgery.
At Blossom Bariatrics, patients qualify for weight-loss surgery with a BMI between 30 and 55. Our clients have an average BMI of 38 and are typically 50 to 100 pounds overweight. We address obesity early to prevent health issues such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea from causing irrevocable damage.
Myth #2: Patients who have bariatric surgery are bound to regain the weight they lost
Mounting evidence concludes that bariatric surgery is often the best option for long-term weight loss, but it is not a magic bullet. Lasting results are only achievable with a commitment to healthy lifestyle habits and a positive mental outlook. Factors such as your pre-surgery age, weight, health, current level of exercise, adherence to dietary guidelines, and your faithfulness in attending follow-up appointments all play into the amount of weight you are likely to lose initially and keep off long-term.
By altering your metabolism, weight-loss surgery enables you to drop pounds rapidly. To keep that weight off, however, you will need to develop mindful habits in eating and exercise. For example, a study in the journal Obesity finds that 200 minutes of exercise each week leads to losing an average of 13.2 more pounds after bariatric surgery. If you are committed to results, bariatric surgery is a tool that can and will work long-term.
Myth #3: Patients can never eat normally after a bariatric procedure
During the first days after your procedure, you will be restricted to a diet of soft foods and liquids. While you will soon be able to eat the same foods you did before surgery, your diet will need to change.
Your most rapid weight loss will occur during the first months after your procedure. These months are called the “honeymoon period” for a good reason. You will feel very little hunger and may even have to remind yourself to eat. This is the ideal time to evaluate your new relationship with food and establish the healthy eating habits that will set you up for success on your weight-loss journey.
Learning to control portions, prioritizing protein-rich foods, and eliminating refined carbohydrates are keys to the new diet that can maintain long-term weight loss. After surgery, you may not be eating exactly the same way you did before. Still, you can undoubtedly find mindful ways of incorporating your favorite foods into your new healthy diet.
Myth #4: Patients cannot afford to pay for weight-loss surgery
Healthcare is on the rise, and obesity is definitively linked to a number of costly medical conditions, including arthritis, coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and even cancer. Weight loss surgery is an investment that requires consideration and research. However, when you weigh its price against the medications and doctor visits necessary to treat obesity-related conditions, you will find this one-time intervention is well worth the investment.
To put the cost of bariatric surgery in perspective, data from the Brookings Institution says the societal cost of obesity for one person comes to an average of $92,235. The majority of that figure is bound up in medical expenses, but work absences, lost tax revenue, and disability payments also factor into the total. The truth is, addressing obesity early is likely to save our economy — but especially yourself — a lot of money.A bit of research goes a long way when you are attempting to uncover the truth about bariatric surgery. If you encounter other myths and need help separating the facts from the fiction, don’t hesitate to contact the medical experts at Blossom Bariatrics.