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3 Misconceptions About Bariatric Surgeries

Bariatric surgery is becoming more accepted in the mainstream, with over 200,000 procedures done every year. However, some of the misconceptions about bariatric surgery continue to proliferate themselves throughout society.

Here are three of the biggest and most patently untrue misconceptions about bariatric surgery – hopefully none of them is keeping you or a loved one from the help that is necessary for a better life.

Truth: Most People Who Undergo Bariatric Surgery Do Not Regain Their Weight.

The huge myth circling the industry of bariatric surgery is that non-permanent procedures do nothing to keep weight off long term. People base this assertion off of the failure of one celebrity or another; however, the real statistics are quite the opposite.

Only 50 percent of patients who undergo bariatric surgery successfully will gain back weight, and those who gain weight usually only gain back around five percent of the weight they lost. Because the definition of a successful bariatric surgery entails a 50 percent or greater loss in excess weight, even those who gain back the entire five percent still lose an extraordinary amount of mass.

Truth: The Risk of Complications During and After Bariatric Surgery are Overstated.

People actually have a larger chance of dying from obesity than from the surgery that is proven to curb it. Obesity leads to debilitating and sometimes fatal conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, fainting and hypertension. Even if the condition is not fatal, the quality of life for an obese person is notably reduced as opposed to people who take care of the problem with bariatric surgery.

On the other hand, the risk of a fatality for a bariatric surgery procedure is 0.13 percent, just over one out of every 1,000 patients. This rate is actually less than other kinds of surgery that receive only a fraction of the rumors and attention, including hip surgery.

Overall, obese people who get bariatric surgery have an 89 percent reduced chance of dying, and cancer mortality is reduced by about 60 percent. Additionally, death by diabetes is reduced by over 90 percent and heart disease death is reduced by half.

Truth: Most People Simply Cannot Lose Weight on Their Own.

Bariatric surgery is not an excuse for lazy people. Only five percent of people can lose weight and keep it off through diet and exercise alone. For an obese person, these chances are reduced even lower because of the additional weight. Bariatric surgery is actually the medically preferred option for obese people.

Dieting becomes incredibly difficult to maintain once weight is lost, and without the physical changes that bariatric surgery entails, people who have lost weight will simply not be able to keep it off. More general practitioners than ever are recommending surgery for their patients, and this trend is in no danger of reversing itself anytime soon.