Most people don’t realize just how many myths there are surrounding weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery or stomach stapling. Unfortunately, too many people have bought into the myths about fat loss surgery, which keeps them from taking the first steps towards getting the procedure they need to improve their quality of life and regain control over their own health and wellness. Here are some of the most common myths about fat loss surgery, along with why they’re all wrong.
1) I’ll be miserable
Some people fear that undergoing surgery will make them depressed or unhappy, but research suggests that going under the knife has little effect on a person’s quality of life. In fact, studies show that people who undergo bariatric surgery are more likely to feel satisfied with their lives than people who haven’t had it—regardless of how much weight they lose. In other words, if you want to improve your body and mind, you’ll probably do just fine after your procedure.
2) Fat people do it all the time
Most people think that if you’re fat and want to lose weight, you’ll likely consider going under the knife. In reality, surgery is a last resort for most of these patients—the average bariatric patient has tried just about every other option available before turning to surgery. For example, a study from Johns Hopkins found that more than 80 percent of obese individuals seeking gastric bypass had tried Weight Watchers (or one of its competitors) in recent years.
3) It’s an instant fix
The most common myth about weight loss surgery is that it’s an easy fix. People think that all you need to do is pop in a few pills and you’ll instantly look like your favorite celebrity. No pain, no gain! It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. You have to make an effort—you still have to diet and exercise after your surgery if you want results.
4) My family will be mad at me
Sure, your mom and dad may not be happy about your decision to go under the knife. But if you take a moment and think about it, they’ll likely still love you—and be proud of you—regardless of whether or not they approve. The same goes for friends, too! We live in a society that’s quick to judge others. You shouldn’t let their opinions cloud your judgment or sway your personal decisions.
5) I’ll gain it back later on
You’re going to lose a lot of weight (if you haven’t already), but that doesn’t mean you won’t regain some of it. It can take months or years to get back to your previous weight after bariatric surgery. The key is to focus on keeping yourself healthy and in control, so that if and when your excess weight does return, you can battle it back once more.
6) It’s the easy way out
Eating right and exercising are a lot of work. With any type of weight loss surgery, you just have to show up at a doctor’s office once every few months, get weighed, and take some pills. After that it’s smooth sailing. If only it were that simple! Every person’s body is different, so there is no set course for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight after surgery.
7) It costs too much money
Weight loss surgery is expensive, with prices ranging between $8,000 and $25,000. That might sound like a lot of money, but it is often cheaper than other treatments for obesity or even some cosmetic procedures. The price of weight loss surgery also varies greatly depending on where you live; in Germany, for example, where obesity rates are among Europe’s highest and health care providers are top-notch, a gastric bypass can cost as little as 2200 Euros—about US$2800.
8) If I have this done, I’ll never be able to eat another bite of food again!
The truth is, after surgery you’ll probably still be able to eat more than you did before. If a normal dinner for someone else is three slices of pizza, that person will probably be able to eat five slices of pizza comfortably post-surgery. It’s because your stomach has been permanently reduced in size and your food intake will be adjusted accordingly by doctors. You won’t feel stuffed but it may take some time to adjust.
9) I’m too old.
While it’s true that men and women over 65 do tend to have a tougher time losing weight, even seniors can shed pounds with bariatric surgery. Men and women in their 70s are often able to lose between 10% and 30% of their body weight—an amount equal to about 30 or more pounds for someone who weighs 200.
10) They won’t be able to find my stomach!
Many people incorrectly assume that their tummy tuck procedure will leave them unable to eat. Some fear they will lose too much weight and others fear they won’t be able to have a full meal again. Both of these statements are false. After surgery, you will be able to eat at least three normal meals every day, plus snacks in between as you see fit.