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Top 7 Myths and Facts About Weight Loss Surgery


During the past 20 years, there have been many medical advances in the field of bariatric medicine. Yet, in spite of these improvements, there are still common misconceptions about the surgery. Here are the top 7 myths and facts about bariatric surgery that could be keeping you from attaining a healthy weight.

Myth: Opting to have metabolic and bariatric surgery is a ‘cop out’. In order to shed the excess weight and keep it off, the only thing individuals challenged by obesity need to do is adhere to a diet and exercise program.


For many obese patients, following a diet and exercise program will not provide a long-term solution to their struggles with their weight. Severely obese patients who have a history of dieting often develop a resistance to weight loss through diet and exercise alone.

According to a recent report published by the Lancing Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal, at leastpatient1 80 percent of obese dieters regain the weight they have lost through diet and exercise. Although it is true that diet and exercise are effective weight loss tools, obese individuals develop internal metabolic barriers as a result of years of dieting. These barriers are the causes of weight fluctuation in obese individuals.

In every person’s body, there are mechanisms that regulate the feeling of fullness, food intake and energy balance. If you are challenged by obesity, it takes more food for your body to feel satiated. As a result, you may experience an endless dieting cycle that can prevent you from experiencing lasting results.

Bariatric surgery can solve this problem. When you have bariatric surgery, your gut will release hormones that tells your brain that you are full. Another benefit of this surgery is your appetite will decrease. Bariatric and metabolic surgeries address the underlying reasons you are not able to lose weight.

Myth: After surgery, bariatric patients develop a problem with alcohol.


  • Bariatric patients who develop problems with alcohol make up only a small percentage of overall bariatric patients. Furthermore, many patients who consume too much alcohol had problems with the substance before they had the surgery.
  • When you have bariatric surgery such as the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, your body may develop a sensitivity to alcohol. Your bariatric surgeon will provide you with a list of guidelines that will help you manage your intake of alcohol.
  • As a wls patient, you are not alone. If you are concerned that you may have issues with alcohol after your surgery, you should discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Myth: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are caused by bariatric surgery.


  • Due to the decrease in nutrients, patients can experience vitamin, mineral and protein deficiencies after bariatric surgery. These deficiencies can lead to bone loss, anemia and fatigue.
  • Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent deficiencies from happening in your body. Your bariatric physician will prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements that will prevent your body from being adversely affected by weight loss surgery.

Myth: Bariatric patients often regain their weight after surgery.


  • Whether you have minimally invasive surgery or an extreme makeover, you might be concerned that you will regain the weight that you have lost.
  • The truth is you may gain a small amount of weight within 2 years of your surgery.
  • However, bariatric surgery has a good success rate. Many patients who were diagnosed with diabetes prior to the surgery have seen remarkable improvements in their health due to sustained loss of weight.
  • As with any weight maintenance program, you must remember that success requires you to make a lifestyle change. You can successfully lose the weight and keep it off by eating nutritious foods and remaining active. The power is in your hands.

Myth: Bariatric procedures increase the rate of suicide in patients.


  • Patients who have undergone bariatric procedures experience increased happiness and a positive outlook on life. In many instances, patients who felt depressed and hopeless before the surgery report that those feelings are gone.
  • Depression is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. Bariatric patients who become suicidal have underlying conditions that usually have nothing to do with the surgery.
  • A comprehensive bariatric program addresses the issue of depression prior to the surgery. If you decide to have a bariatric procedure, you will be required to get psyschological evaluations.

Myth: Obesity is categorized as an addiction that is similar to chemical dependencies and alcohololism.


  • Obesity is a complex condition that has many causes. Factors that contribute to obesity are metabolic disorders, psychological issues and energy imbalances.While it is true that some obese patients have addictive eating disorders, this is only true in a small percentage of cases.
  • Alcohol and drug addictions can be treated by abstaining from the substances. Food is necessary to sustain your life, and it must be treated in a different manner from addictions.

Myth: Bariatric surgery has higher rates of death than obesity.


  • There are risks associated with any surgery including bariatric procedures such as incisionless weight loss procedure gastric balloon and revisional surgery from lap-band.However, bariatric surgery does not have higher rates of death than obesity.
  • Consider these facts. Out of 60,000 surgeries, there is a 0.13 percent mortality rate for patients who had surgery within 30 days. This means that only 1 out of 1,000 patients have died during that time period. If obesity is left unchecked, patients can develop life-threatening diseases such as obesity and heart disease.
  • Bariatric surgery in Mexico offers a safe and affordable way for you to lose the excess weight. In fact, it is so affordable that you can use a self-pay option if your insurance will not cover it.

Jessica Lovett, WLG Editorial Team

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