Opting for weight loss surgery is a major decision for someone who is very obese and can’t lose weight no matter how much they diet or exercise. Many types of weight loss, or bariatric surgeries must be considered major surgeries and come with the risks major surgery entails. However, there are also myths about these surgeries that aren’t true and can cause the person contemplating them undue stress. Here are five untrue myths about weight loss surgery.
1. Most people who have weight loss surgery just gain their weight back.
Though some patients do gain back some of their weight, most keep at least 50 percent of their excess weight off. Some patients may find that this is not enough and may view their bariatric surgeries as less successful than they should be. However, the weight loss caused by bariatric surgery is much greater than the weight loss these patients could have had just through diet and exercise, even if diet and exercise worked for them.
2. Many weight loss patients become alcoholics post-operatively.
Most patients who’ve had bariatric surgery do not go on to abuse alcohol after the operation. The exception is if they had problems with alcohol before they had their surgery. It is true that people who’ve had bariatric surgery are more sensitive to alcohol right after the surgery, and they can become intoxicated after only a few drinks. This is especially true of people who’ve had a gastric bypass. Because they become sensitive to alcohol, doctors encourage these patients to avoid alcohol especially during the time after the surgery where they lose weight quickly. Patients need to know that now even a small drink can cause intoxication. Because of this, they should avoid any amount of alcohol if they’re going to be driving or operating heavy machinery. However, if the patient does believe they’re developing a problem with alcohol, they shouldn’t hesitate to find help.
3. People who have weight loss surgery have health issues because of nutritional deficiencies.
It is true that some types of bariatric surgeries make it harder for the body to use some vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies can indeed lead to health problems, but they do not have to happen. The doctor can prescribe vitamin, mineral and protein supplements to make up for the nutrients that can no longer be processed due to the bariatric surgery. The patient not only confers with their doctor but also has the services of a dietitian who can help them meet their nutritional needs. Patients are also regularly monitored for nutritional deficiencies after the surgery. Those who suffer the symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are patients who don’t follow the recommendations of their doctor or dietitian.
4. The surgeries are interchangeable.
Bariatric surgeries aren’t interchangeable and one type may work better for one patient than for another. For example, a diabetic patient may benefit from gastric bypass surgery. In this surgery, the top part of the stomach is cut away from the rest of it and turned into a pouch. The pouch is then attached to a section of the small intestine. The other end of the section is attached to the rest of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the duodenum. Other patients benefit from a sleeve gastrectomy, where the stomach is reduced to a sleeve-shaped pouch.
5. A woman can’t get pregnant after weight loss surgery.
It is true that a woman who has bariatric surgery shouldn’t get pregnant immediately after the surgery, but she wouldn’t get pregnant immediately after any surgery. Other than this, there’s no reason that a normally fertile woman can’t get pregnant if she’s had weight loss surgery. When she is ready to have a baby, she should consult with her doctor and be monitored throughout her pregnancy.