Top 10 Misconceptions About Bariatric Surgery
You may know someone who has had bariatric surgery, or you may be considering the surgery yourself. Most patients have positive life-changing results, and yet, there is still confusion over these procedures. We listed the top 10 misconceptions about bariatric surgery to help set the record straight.
#1. Bariatric Surgery Is Dangerous
While it’s true that risks are associated with any surgery, living with obesity actually poses a greater threat. According to the CDC, obesity is a leading cause of death worldwide. Obesity also increases the risk of serious diseases and health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many types of cancers.
Not to mention, weight loss surgeries have a lower mortality rate than many common-place procedures. In fact, certain types of bariatric surgery can be performed via laparoscopic surgery, meaning they involve only a small incision and are minimally invasive. Oftentimes, patients do not even need to stay in the hospital overnight.
#2. Surgery Is the Easy Way Out
Think back to when you tried to lose a couple of pounds. Now imagine trying to lose 50 pounds or more. It’s not an easy task. Bariatric surgery isn’t an easy way out; it’s a helpful tool that can jumpstart a healthier life. By eliminating food cravings and making people feel full longer, this surgery makes weight-loss possible for the long term.
Patients still have to work hard to reach their weight loss goals by adopting a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and making a lifelong commitment to staying on a vitamin regimen. Otherwise, they can experience pain, vomiting, or dumping syndrome. As you can see, it’s not all smooth sailing immediately after surgery.
#3. Most People Gain the Weight Back
While some people did gain the weight back, this is because they did not follow an approved diet and exercise routine. That’s why follow-up appointments with your surgery team and primary team physician are important. They will monitor your weight loss and provide instructions on keeping the weight off in a way that benefits your overall health.
#4. Surgery Affects How the Body Absorbs Vitamins and Minerals
It’s true that, after bariatric surgery, your body may not absorb enough certain vitamins and minerals. This can lead to fatigue, bone and muscle loss, and lower immunity. Luckily, these deficiencies are avoidable! ProCare Health’s Once Daily Bariatric Multivitamin Capsule delivers 22 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, D, and E, B-complex vitamins, and minerals iron and magnesium. This multivitamin also meets ASMBS guidelines, which state how much of each vitamin and mineral you should be getting daily to avoid any deficiency-related health issues. Staying on top of bloodwork and getting regular screenings are also necessary steps to take.
#5. You Can’t Become Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery
Patients are advised not to become pregnant in the first 12 to 24 months after bariatric surgery; otherwise, it could interfere with weight loss or lead to a miscarriage. After this waiting period, talk with your OB/GYN if you plan to become pregnant. Childbirth is actually healthier for the mom and the baby when the mom is at a healthy weight. This reduces the chance of having gestational diabetes, stillbirths, and miscarriages.
To add, some bariatric surgery patients noticed improvements in their Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility, and studies show evidence of female patients with better pregnancy outcomes after weight loss surgery. ProCare Health also formulated a Prenatal Bariatric Multivitamin to address the unique needs of a weight loss surgery mother and her growing baby.
#6. Insurance Won’t Cover Bariatric Surgery
While not all insurance companies cover bariatric surgery, most follow the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines to determine what type of coverage to allow. Those with health conditions linked to obesity, like diabetes or high blood pressure, are more likely to have their procedure covered. Your insurance company may request a letter from your surgeon or primary care physician on your health and medical conditions before providing coverage. For more information on this topic, watch the replay of ProCare Health’s live event on Top 10 Bariatric Surgery FAQs.
#7. Bariatric Surgery Increases Suicide
Any major lifestyle change can alter your mindset and emotions. People who choose to have bariatric surgery often struggled with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem due to their obesity. Bariatric surgery improves the psychological well-being of most patients. However, pre-existing mental disorders sometimes go undiagnosed, which is why screening for mental health issues before surgery is important. ProCare Health’s support group has a wonderful community. Join for FREE and connect with others going along the same journey and keep your spirits up.
#8. Bariatric Surgery Leaves a Big Scar
Years ago, surgeries would leave big scars, but technologies and techniques have evolved. Most weight-loss surgeries are laparoscopic, a minimally evasive surgery requiring four or five tiny incisions, each about the width of a fingernail. This leads to less pain and a quicker recovery time, so you can get out of the hospital sooner and get back to the activities you love.
#9. After Surgery, You Won’t Need to Change Your Lifestyle
Weight loss surgery is a lifestyle change. Vitamin deficiencies can occur two to three years after surgery and be detrimental to your health, which is why yearly blood draws are essential. They check for vitamin levels as your body constantly changes and will catch issues early. Be sure to let your primary doctors know of your surgery, as it can alter care plans.
Plus, returning to old habits will cause you to regain the weight. While you don’t have to become a vegan or run marathons, you must follow dietary restrictions and exercise to maintain success. You can read all about the foods you can eat and the exercises you can do on our blog.
#10. After Surgery, You Won’t Need Follow-Up Care
Follow-up appointments, especially after the first few weeks of surgery, are crucial. Health care providers can then monitor your healing and safely advance your diet. One year later, follow-ups depend on each individual case, but still, check in with your provider to monitor your progress and ask any questions you may have.
Have Your Questions Answered by ProCare Health
At ProCare Health, we are dedicated to helping people before and after their weight loss surgery. While you consider if bariatric surgery is right for you, request a free sample, view recordings of our live video events, or reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members. You can give us a call at 877-822-5808 or contact us today with any questions!