8 Weight Loss Surgery Myths
- It’s the easy way out
Losing weight and keeping it off is probably one of the hardest things you will do in your life. Unlike other vices such as cigarettes and alcohol, you cannot just quit eating food. You must learn how to eat food without giving in to temptation, to have that little bit extra or indulge in too many sweets. To consider losing weight alone is crazy and the literature proves it! Long-term failure is the rule with more than 95% of people regaining lost weight by 2-5 years after a diet and exercise intervention. Weight loss surgery is the only proven way to achieve long-term results. It’s definitely not the easy way out it’s the only way out for many people in search of a sustainable weight loss solution.
Weight loss surgery is not a magic wand. It’s a tool that, to be successful, requires you to make lifelong changes to poor dietary and exercise habits. The surgery itself is just the beginning. There is still a lot of work to be done with physicians, dietitians, exercise physiologists and other health professionals to achieve lasting weight loss.
- The risks of surgery outweigh the risks of obesity
All surgeries have risks and weight loss surgery is no different. There are some complications to be aware of including leakage, infection of port site, slippage of the gastric band, pouch dilatation and port dislocation. The re-operation rate however is low at 5-10% of cases.
On the other hand, the risks associated with obesity, if left untreated, can be life threatening. Obesity leads to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnoea.
- Surgery is only for really obese people
Weight loss surgery is recommended for people with a BMI >35kg/m2 or BMI >30kg/m2 with co-morbidities such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There are different types of weight loss surgeries and your BMI may not be a limiting factor to your eligibility, depending on your overall health status. It’s best to talk with Winnett Specialist Group about whether or not weight loss surgery is right for you.
- I’ll vomit all the time
While it is true that food tolerance can be a challenge after gastric band surgery, you will never vomit because of the band. There are a small number of common problem foods that, because of their texture, may become stuck in the band. The piece of stuck food will either move down into your stomach or come back up with regurgitation but not with vomiting.
- I will have to eat soup and mushy food for the rest of my life
This is probably one of the biggest myths of weight loss surgery. While many people, especially with a gastric band, do eat this way it’s not how it should be. With the right education and support you can still enjoy your favourite foods but perhaps prepared in a slightly different way. Post surgery food tolerance also relies heavily on your dedication to taking small bites, chewing well and eating slowly at every meal.
- I will be left with a really big scar from the surgery
At Winnett Specialist Group, all weight loss surgeries are done laparoscopically, where small incisions are made into the abdomen. This technique results in faster healing, reduced pain and reduced scaring after surgery.
- It will do all of the work for me
You definitely cannot set and forget when it comes to weight loss surgery. It is a tool to help make the lifestyle changes necessary for weight loss easier to achieve. It does not make the changes for you therefore ongoing support is crucial to your long-term success. For best results, it is recommended to engage in regular support for at least 2 years post operatively.
- It’s impossible to gain weight after surgery
If you go into surgery with the wrong mindset then there is a chance that you won’t do well long-term. The bad habits that lead to weight gain in the first place will still be there after surgery. As mentioned earlier, surgery is a tool not a magic wand. It doesn’t directly help with non-hungry eating and you can still have a high calorie diet from small portions of unhealthy foods and liquids. To be successful with weight loss surgery you must go into it knowing that there are ways to cheat it and gain weight as a result. You must learn to work with your new stomach to avoid weight gain and get the best results.