Obesity & Weight Loss Surgery: Fact vs. Myth

There are many options to obesity weight loss, including change of diet, incorporating more movement in your life, diet pills, and surgery.  If you have considered surgery as an option, there are things you should know; there are many myths that should be weighed against facts.

Myth: You shouldn’t risk having surgery to lose weight because it is too risky and very dangerous.

Fact: The fact is that for those who are morbidly obese or who have a very high body mass index (BMI), weight loss surgery can be a very good option.  In fact, if you are morbidly obese, you are probably having health issues that are much more dangerous than surgery.  High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes alone are very risky.

Myth: If you have surgery to lose weight, you will never regain the weight; or, you’ll gain all the weight back anyway so why bother having surgery. 

Fact:  Both of these thoughts are false.  There is no guarantee that you will never regain the weight, and there is no truth that you will definitely gain all the weight back. 

The fact is that no matter what, you will have to change other things in your life to maintain any weight loss. 

Myth:  If you have weight loss surgery it’s a one shot deal; when it’s done, it’s done.

Fact:  The fact is that surgery to lose weight is an ongoing process, and it requires an ongoing relationship with health care professionals in order to be truly successful.  

Myth:  Having surgery to get rid of body fat from obesity will make you skinny, thin, beautiful, etc.

Fact:  Surgery is not a means to an end.  Surgery is meant to assist you in making a positive lifestyle change.  You have to be the right candidate for surgery.  Surgery in and of itself will not make your body thin or beautiful.  Changing your body drastically requires hard work, including diet, exercise, time, and most importantly, commitment.

Myth:  After having surgery the weight will just melt off.

Fact:  Losing weight successfully should be a slow and consistent process.  Ideally, weight loss will occur at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week after your body recovers from surgery.  Any type of very quick weight loss will usually result in gaining it back eventually.

Myth:  It’s better to just take weight loss pills, because if you have surgery they will cut out part of your stomach.

Fact:  Although weight loss pills are sometimes used as a precursor to surgery, there are side effects to pills that can be just as risky as surgery.

As for surgery, there are different types of surgery and you decide with your doctor which is best for you.  Gastric Bypass surgery, one option, is popular in the USA and is basically having your stomach divided into two parts, with a small part being sewn or stapled to make a pouch.  This pouch only holds a small amount of food.


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