Myths of Bariatric Surgery

Myth 1: Bariatric Surgery is Dangerous

  • Modern advances in bariatric surgery, including laparoscopic gastric band, sleeve and bypass procedures, have made it a much safer, less invasive surgery with a shorter recovery time.
  • The risks of living with morbid obesity are much higher than the risks of having advanced weight loss surgery – patients who had bariatric surgery are:
    • 56% less likely to die from coronary artery disease
    • 92% less likely to die from diabetes
    • 60% less likely to die from cancer
  • People who weigh twice their normal body weight are 10 times more likely to die than someone with a healthy weight.

Myth 2: Weight Loss Surgery is ‘Cheating’ – Obesity Can Be Treated Through Dieting

  • Eight out of 10 dieters fail to maintain weight loss for more than two years. The larger a person is, the less likely that they will maintain weight loss.
  • Obesity is different from being overweight and is a significant impairment to health. Bariatric surgery may be the best option for many morbidly obese individuals to be able to achieve permanent, life-changing weight loss.

Myth 3: Insurance Does Not Cover Weight Loss Surgery

  • Most insurance companies, including the major commercial companies, Medicare and Medicaid, cover weight loss surgery for those who qualify.
  • Typically patients with a BMI over 35 will qualify for surgery.

Myth 4: Doctors Do Not Need To Discuss Weight Loss Surgery With Patients

  • Many obese people are too embarrassed to ask about weight loss surgery. Many individuals wait until their obesity problem is so far out of control that they end up having higher risks for the surgery.
  • People rely on their doctors to advise them on their health – obesity is a serious medical condition that impacts every aspect of an individual’s health.
  • Patients who are referred by a physician are more likely to follow through with the surgery and improve their health than those who aren’t.

Myth 5: Medication is The Best Way To Treat an Obese Patient's Medical Conditions

  • Medications can minimize some health problems related to obesity, but bariatric surgery can solve them.
  • Bariatric surgery has documented success of eliminating the need for medication with Type 2 diabetes.
  • More than 80 percent of patients stop needing medication for conditions like hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia within six months after surgery.