Erase These Bariatric Surgery Misconceptions

Bariatric surgery is undertaken by doctors to help their patients bring obesity under control, and ward off incipient health issues. Those who imagine that obesity doesn’t kill people need to awaken to basic obesity-related health hazards. Some of the life-threatening conditions which you might develop due to obesity include type 2 diabetes; high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke; cancers of the esophagus, breast, colon, or kidneys; gallstones, gallbladder disease; osteoarthritis, gout; breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for short episodes during sleep) and asthma.

Reduce the Probability of Dying from Your Existing Morbidities

Keep in mind that the danger of dying from these ailments reduces drastically when your body weight is reduced significantly. Your risk of dying when you undergo bariatric surgery is far lower than dying from the morbidities associated with obesity. So, it isn’t as dangerous a procedure as you might have imagined, and you recuperate faster from it than from most other surgical procedures. Even if you feel that you are too fat, or too old to safely undergo surgery; ask your doctor about it. Your surgeon will know what precautionary measures need to be taken, especially if you have any comorbidities like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Understand What Causes Obesity Before Considering Bariatric Surgery

Imagining that people become fat because the overeat is a dangerous oversimplification of a very serious issue. The reason why a person becomes fat enough to be called obese could vary from as diverse reasons as being desk-bound most of their waking hours to not sleeping at night time causing chronic sleep deprivation, genetic factors, and side effects of certain medications. It is not so how much you are eating as what you are eating. If you don’t eat balanced food, especially food that is fiber-rich, fights fat, and is full of vitamins and other micronutrients; that is a major reason why your regular diet is turning into fat. Having too much fast food, or processed food might convert into obesity. Further, weight gain can easily cause changes in the metabolism of your body impacting hormonal and molecular structures leading to an increase of weight, and greater storage of fat.

What about those who eat nutritive food and exercise, but are still obese?

The real challenge is when some people are cautious about what they eat and drink, keep an eye on carbohydrate intake, and exercise regularly, but they are still obese. Unfortunately, these people might experience poor quality of life, and grave health issues like arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, difficulty in conceiving a child, and depression. For them, their doctors might suggest bariatric surgery.

Don’t Confuse Sleeve Gastrectomy with Gastric Bypass Surgery

The biggest misconception that most people have about bariatric surgery is that there is a one size fits all kind of weight loss surgery. Your surgeon will decide on which of the three kinds of bariatric surgery suits you best in accordance with your profile — how obese you are, and what your weight loss targets are; your specific requirements keeping in view psychological needs, and your health status. For example, if you tend to overeat due to stress or depression, you might benefit more from a partial gastrectomy, also called sleeve gastrectomy.

Sleeve gastrectomy:

Sometimes, it is vital to suppress hunger. To that end, doctors cut away most of the stomach, leaving only a small portion of it, which serves to suppress ghrelin — the hormone which makes you feel hungry. It would help prevent binge eating as the amount of food your stomach can hold is very little. For patients whose BMI is as high as 50 or higher, this surgery is most effective. Remember, this kind of procedure works on the premise that the biological workings of a lean body are different from the workings of an obese body making it necessary to offset the adverse effects of certain diets which tend to increase hunger levels and appetite.

Gastric bypass surgery:

In this surgery, not only is the size of the stomach reduced, but a portion of the small intestine is also removed. Diabetics, and those who have morbid obesity of up to 40 benefits the most from it.

Lap band surgery:

Though it was probably the most popular bariatric procedure some years ago because it is reversible; these days few doctors or patients opt for lap band surgery which involves placing a band to reduce the amount of food that can enter the stomach.

Asian woman weight loss and diet concept


No, You Won’t Put Back the Kilos You Lost Through Surgery

Many people who would benefit from bariatric surgery backtrack for fear that they will just quickly regain all the weight they lost to surgery. You must realize that just because you have undergone bariatric surgery, you can eat and drink all that you want to. With or without surgery, you must exercise regularly and have a properly chalked out diet plan to ensure that you get all the nutrients you need to be healthy. The occasional cheat with a piece of cake or pastry, or eating a small packet of chips is okay.

Weight maintenance is crucial for long-term benefit:

You don’t want the weight you lost rushing back post-surgery. Therefore, it is advisable for people to first undergo counseling and behavioral therapy before surgery. Your surgeon will tell you that bariatric surgery is not a short cut or some kind of magic bullet. Initially, immediately after surgery, you might experience loss of as much as 50 percent excess weight; keeping it off will be the real challenge in the years to come.

Get a new lease of life:

From being able to move around easily to going off medications, to improving one’s self-image, and being able to have that baby you desired so deeply; excess weight that you lose through bariatric surgery — and keep off — gives you an unexpected new lease of life.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors