Four Weight Loss Surgery Facts You Should Know

March 08, 2019
A provider speaks with a patient

There are many misconceptions about obesity, diet, and bariatric surgery. Some people perceive surgery to be “cheating” or an “easy way out.” Others believe they feel like failures because they were unable to lose weight on their own. We want to help you understand what's really going on with your body.

Obesity is a complex, chronic disease that goes far beyond any perceived lack of will power. We help you understand how your genes play a role in weight gain and how your body may work against you as you try to lose weight. We also want to make sure you know the facts.

Fact: Most People Keep the Weight Off

study conducted at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, NC, showed that more than 90% of the 2,000 veterans studied had maintained their weight loss 10 years after their surgery.

Fact: Weight Loss Surgery Is Safe

Studies show that people who undergo weight loss procedures live longer than those who need but do not have bariatric surgery. And, while there are risks and complications associated with all surgeries, weight loss surgery is relatively safe and results in positive outcomes. Most procedures are performed through small incisions, which results in less pain and promotes faster recovery.

Fact: Weight Loss Surgery Has Proven Health Benefits

Many studies have concluded that weight loss surgery is an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome, which includes several conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and obesity. As an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome, weight loss surgery (also known as metabolic surgery) has been shown to effectively:

  • Lower blood sugar levels and reduce your risk for diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart disease
  • Cure sleep apnea and acid reflux
  • Alleviate joint problems

Fact: Less than One Percent of People Who Could Qualify Actually Get Weight Loss Surgery

Because of the well-documented benefits, more people are eligible for weight loss surgery than in previous years. However, only 1% of people who qualify actually get bariatric surgery because of personal and financial challenges. The process is not an easy fix. It requires drastic lifestyle changes, and multiple appointments for tests, weigh-ins, and check-ups prior to surgery. Insurance coverage can also be a hurdle as plans often require people to meet multiple requirements before covering a bariatric procedure.

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