Weight Loss Surgery Myths Debunked
Posted: October 25, 2021
At Alabama Surgical Associates, our team is committed to making sure people have the resources they need to make educated decisions about their health.
Right now, there is an obesity pandemic in the United States. While weight loss surgery has long been proven to be an effective tool in the fight against obesity and related co-morbidities, only about 1% of the more than 20 million eligible people choose to pursue this option. We believe that many people are hesitant to consider bariatric surgery because there is so much misinformation about the procedures and their recovery periods. It’s our goal to help dispel some of these weight loss surgery myths.
Myth: It’s time-consuming and difficult to get approved for weight loss surgery.
Fact: At Alabama Surgical Associates, we have streamlined the bariatric surgery approval process in order to get our patients the care they require as quickly as possible. Once you meet with a member of our bariatric surgery team and are deemed a good candidate for weight loss surgery, we can fast-track you through preoperative testing and other preparations. We’ll even help you inquire with your health insurance whether the procedure will be covered for you and help you explore weight loss surgery payment and financing options.
Myth: You have to recover in the hospital for a long time after weight loss surgery.
Fact: Actually, the most common bariatric surgery procedure in the United States, gastric sleeve, is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.1 The surgery itself takes only about an hour.
Myth: Recovery after weight loss surgery is long and painful.
Fact: We perform all of our weight loss surgery procedures laparoscopically, which means that only a few tiny incisions are made. This allows for a faster and more comfortable recovery period than an open procedure, with only minimal need for pain medications. We also offer some endoscopic procedures where no incisions are made. Most of our patients are up on their feet within hours of surgery, and are able to return to work and other activities within a week or a couple of days.
Myth: Weight loss surgery is too risky.
Fact: This is one of the greatest misconceptions out there regarding bariatric surgery. In truth, bariatric surgery carries a smaller risk than many more common procedures, including gallbladder removal and hip replacement. Additionally, the risks of living with obesity far outweigh any risks associated with weight loss surgery. For example, obesity comorbidities like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure are some of the greatest threats to American health today. Patients who struggle with obesity are often able to reduce or even eliminate risks from these conditions through losing significant weight after bariatric surgery. In fact, up to 72% of patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery are able to reduce Type 2 diabetes or even achieve complete remission.2
Myth: Patients simply regain the weight after weight loss surgery.
Fact: People who struggle with obesity are used to the vicious cycle of many diets: they lose the weight, only to gain it back (and then some) within a matter of months. This isn’t the case with our bariatric surgery patients. The entire team at Alabama Surgical Associates is dedicated to helping our patients develop healthy habits that allow them to maintain weight loss success after surgery. Our patients have access to support groups, dietitians, and other resources that help empower them to successfully lose the weight and keep it off. According to medical research, most bariatric surgery patients have maintained their weight loss seven years after surgery.
Myth: Weight loss surgery is the “easy way out.”
Fact: This is an especially harmful mischaracterization, and it can keep people from pursuing medical care that can save their lives. Obesity is a disease that often requires medical treatment. Weight loss surgery is merely a tool in the arsenal we employ against obesity. Our patients still need to adjust their eating habits, activity levels, and lifestyles to achieve weight loss success after bariatric surgery.3
Contact Alabama Surgical Associates
At Alabama Surgical Associates, we provide our patients with effective weight loss surgery and so much more. Our patients feel supported and empowered to make the changes necessary to maintain healthier, happier lives. To learn more about how we can support you through your weight loss journey, please contact us.
1 American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Estimate of Bariatric Surgery Numbers, 2011-2019. Available: https://asmbs.org/resources/estimate-of-bariatric-surgery-numbers. Accessed September 24, 2021.
2 Lee WJ, Chong K, Ser KH, Lee YC, Chen SC, Chen JC, Tsai MH, Chuang LM. Gastric bypass vs sleeve gastrectomy for type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Surg. 2011 Feb;146(2):143-8. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.2010.326. PMID: 21339423. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21339423/. Accessed October 15, 2021.
3 Courcoulas AP, King WC, Belle SH, Berk P, Flum DR, Garcia L, Gourash W, Horlick M, Mitchell JE, Pomp A, Pories WJ, Purnell JQ, Singh A, Spaniolas K, Thirlby R, Wolfe BM, Yanovski SZ. Seven-Year Weight Trajectories and Health Outcomes in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) Study. JAMA Surg. 2018 May 1;153(5):427-434. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2017.5025. PMID: 29214306; PMCID: PMC6584318. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29214306/. Accessed September 24, 2021.