Breaking Down Misconceptions about Weight Loss Surgery

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Posted: July 14th, 2019

Considering bariatric surgery? Our physicians help clear up four common myths about the procedure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40% of adults and 20% of adolescents in the United States are obese. Though the condition affects the health and well-being of millions of people, only about 1% of eligible patients actually undergo weight loss surgery.

When performed by expert physicians like those at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, bariatric surgery is a safe and effective way to improve your health and well-being. Procedures like gastric bypass and gastric band can help you lose weight quickly and manage conditions like sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes.

So why aren’t more people pursuing this treatment? For one, there’s a general lack of awareness and misinformation about the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery. To address this issue, our physicians have unpacked some common reasons patients may be hesitant to consider weight loss surgery, and share the truth behind these myths below.

The myth: Bariatric surgery isn’t an option for me.

The truth: Some patients struggling with their weight may not realize that they qualify for bariatric surgery. However, if you have a BMI of 40 or above, you’re likely a good candidate for the procedure. Patients with a BMI of 35 or above may also be eligible if they suffer from weight-related conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure.

Bariatric surgery is most effective for patients who are motivated to make comprehensive lifestyle changes to maintain their weight loss over the long term. If you think weight loss surgery might be right for you, talk to Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors about your options.

The myth: My insurance won’t cover the treatment.

The truth: Many people assume that weight loss surgery isn’t covered by insurance, but in reality, most major carriers cover procedures like gastric bypass and gastric band. That said, it’s important to talk to your insurance provider about their approval process, as some insurers may require patients to participate in a supervised diet program before undergoing bariatric surgery.

The myth: Weight loss procedures are too risky.

The truth: As surgeons have gotten more skilled and technology more advanced, bariatric surgery has become an increasingly safe option. This is especially true at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, where our expert physicians use minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures to provide the highest-quality results.

Of course, like any operation, weight loss surgery carries the risk of complications. Some patients experience side effects like nausea or bleeding, but in general, outcomes are overwhelmingly positive. Further, studies show that obese patients who have undergone bariatric surgery experience an 89% reduction in mortality. Specifically, cancer mortality is reduced by 60%, diabetes mortality by 90%, and heart disease mortality by 50%. These results indicate that in most cases, the benefits of weight loss surgery far outweigh the risks.

The myth: Bariatric surgery is the “easy way out.”

The truth: Some patients assume that they are taking the “easy way out” by deciding to improve their health with bariatric surgery. However, it’s inaccurate to say that people who can’t lose weight through diet and exercise simply aren’t trying hard enough. In fact, studies show that a person’s metabolism changes once they’ve been overweight for a long time, making it increasingly difficult for them to lose weight and keep it off. For example, someone who reduces their weight from 250 pounds to 180 pounds through diet and exercise will have a slower metabolism than another person who has always been that weight.

Bariatric surgery helps facilitate long-term weight loss in part because it changes the body’s metabolism and reaction to food. When combined with hard work like a strict diet and exercise regimen, the procedure is more successful than lifestyle changes alone in helping you achieve meaningful weight loss.

If you have questions about how weight loss surgery can improve your physical and psychological health, get in touch with Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors today. You can set up a 10-minute call with a bariatric coordinator or schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physicians. It’s time to start your journey to a healthier, happier you.