Have you seen all the ads on TV for weight loss surgery? They certainly sound appealing, don't they? Tame that hunger! Rapid weight loss! But what's the real story? Here are seven myths about weight loss surgery that will truly surprise you.
Myth # 1: You Will Never Regain Your Weight
Untrue. In fact studies have shown that most weight loss surgery patients regain at least some of their weight. Weight loss surgery provides you with a tool that helps you to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. But the patient must eat a healthy diet and exercise for the rest of their lives in order to maintain that weight loss. True, it is much easier to accomplish that after surgery. However you can't take for granted that you will be thin forever without working at it.
Myth # 2: Weight Loss Surgery Is Becoming so Popular
Untrue. In the U.S., there are between 8 and 10 million morbidly obese people who qualify for weight loss surgery. Morbid obesity is determined by checking your Body Mass Index which is a computation between your height and your weight. Of the 8 to 10 million morbidly obese people, there are only between 1% and 2% of them who have weight loss surgery. In 2007 there were approximately 200,000 weight loss surgeries performed in the United States. In fact, weight loss surgery is a very rare procedure compared to millions who need it.
Myth # 3: You Will Have To Eat Tiny Meals Forever
Untrue. Just after surgery, your capacity to eat is very small. An ounce or two will fill you up. However, over time your capacity to eat more normal sized meals will increase so that what you are able to eat approximates what a normal weighted person would eat.
Myth #4: It's the Easy Way Out
Untrue. Weight loss surgery is not without its risks. The mortality rate is .5% to 1% and an additional 5% suffer complications. The complications vary from developing a possible abdominal leak so that what you eat enters your abdominal cavity (potentially lethal) to simple nausea. Many weight loss surgery patients lose up to 50% of their hair (which grows back) because of their inability to eat enough protein just after surgery. Most gastric bypass patients experience dumping syndrome which causes a sweating, shaking and nauseous reaction after eating something sweet. Some people outgrow this, others do not. There are many complications with this surgery making it anything but the easy way out.
Myth # 5: Weight Loss Surgery Will Save My Marriage
Untrue. In fact the divorce rate for weight loss surgery patients is higher than the national average. Often the spouse cannot take the new attention being paid to their partner who is looking better and better as the pounds melt away. On the flip side, the patient who is losing weight sometimes does not know how to handle all the new attention causing a strain on the marriage.
Myth # 6: My Body Will Look Great After I Have Lost Weight
Untrue. Most patients who lose more than 140 pounds are left with hanging skin requiring plastic surgery which is often not covered by insurance.
Myth #7: I Won't Be Able to Have Children after Surgery
Untrue. Patients should not get pregnant within the first year following surgery. During that initial time of rapid weight loss, they are not able to eat enough to sustain themselves as well as a growing fetus. However after the first year, there is no barrier to pregnancy. In fact, those patients have a much lower risk pregnancy because they are much healthier.
There are many misconceptions about weight loss surgery. Education is the key to knowing if the surgery is for you and to understanding the risks and benefits.