Common Myths About Bariatric Surgery

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As the largest private bariatric surgery clinic in the country, we hear a lot of misinformation about weight-loss surgery. At Blossom Bariatrics, our goal is to give you the facts you need to make an informed decision. Here are research-backed answers to several of the most common myths surrounding bariatric surgery. 

Myth#1: You have to be 400+ pounds to have weight loss surgery 

Many people think bariatric surgery is only an option for people who are severely obese. In reality, it is a highly effective early intervention. 

Today, most insurance companies and clinics only approve bariatric surgery for people who are severely obese. People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 35 and 40 may also be considered if they have developed an obesity-related disease. 

A 2021 study from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery is challenging these outdated guidelines. The study compares two large groups of patients who underwent bariatric surgery. One group had BMIs between 30 and 35. The other was made up of severely obese patients. 

A year after the study, 36.3% of the group with lower BMIs attained a healthy BMI of less than 25. Only six percent of the severely obese group was able to accomplish this. The study demonstrates that patients with BMIs between 30 and 35 are more likely to achieve a healthy weight, higher quality of life, and remission of type 2 diabetes after weight-loss surgery.

At Blossom Bariatrics, our qualifying criteria for weight-loss surgery is a BMI of between 30 and 55. Our clients are typically between 50 to 100 pounds overweight. We believe in addressing obesity before significant health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea ever arise. 

Myth #2: Everyone who has weight loss surgery gains their weight back 

Decades of evidence show bariatric surgery is the only option for sustainable long-term weight loss. Surgery is not a quick fix, but the tool can and will work long-term if you are dedicated. The amount of weight you lose initially and the amount you will be able to keep off depend on several factors, including your age, health, pre-surgery weight, level of physical activity, commitment to dietary guidelines, and commitment to follow-up care.

Bariatric surgery enables you to achieve rapid weight loss by altering your metabolism, but keeping that weight off requires lifestyle changes in your diet and physical activity. In a study in the journal Obesity, 200 minutes of exercise each week is proven to result in higher weight loss after a bariatric procedure. In the study, participants who were active lost, on average, 13.2 more pounds than participants who were inactive. 

Myth #3: You’ll never be able to eat normally after bariatric surgery 

After weight loss surgery, patients experience a few months called the “honeymoon period.” During these months, you probably won’t feel hungry and may even need to remind yourself to eat. We suggest taking this time to evaluate your relationship with food and establish the healthy habits that will set you up for years of success. 

Immediately after the procedure, your diet will be limited to liquids and soft foods. Soon, you will eat many of the foods you did before, but your diet will have to change to maintain long-term weight loss. We will coach you to control your portions, prioritize protein, and eliminate refined carbohydrates. In time, you will find ways to incorporate the foods you love in moderation and as part of your new healthy diet.

Myth #4: Bariatric surgery is too expensive 

Healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and obesity is the root of many expensive medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, stroke, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. Weighing the costs of obesity-related conditions against bariatric surgery makes that one-time investment appear well worth it.

In fact, a recent study presented at the Brookings Institution calculates the lifetime societal cost of obesity for one individual to be on average $92,235. Most of that figure amounts to medical expenses, but it also includes work absences, disability payments, and lost tax revenue.

Do your research and uncover the truth when it comes to myths surrounding weight-loss surgery. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Blossom Bariatrics.