Cieza: Myths vs. Facts of Weight-Loss Surgery

Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), June 23, 2019 | Go to article overview

Cieza: Myths vs. Facts of Weight-Loss Surgery


Is your weight significantly affecting your health? Have you tried multiple diet and exercise programs without success?

If you are more than 100 pounds above your ideal weight, or if your body mass index (BMI) is above 35 kg/m², bariatric (weight-loss) surgery may be a good option for you.

Below are a few myths and facts about this life-changing procedure.

Myth: Bariatric surgery is a risky procedure.

Though weight-loss surgery has a reputation for being risky, procedures have improved significantly over the years.

Data from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery show that the risk of death within the 30 days following bariatric surgery averages 0.1%. This rate is considerably less than most other operations, including gallbladder and hip replacement surgery.

It’s also riskier to continue to live with the health consequences of obesity, which can include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea and more.

As a whole, patients who undergo bariatric surgery are able to significantly reduce their mortality rate compared to people who avoid treatment. As with all types of abdominal surgery, there is a small chance of post-operative complications, which may include nausea, blood clots or gastric leak.

Myth: Bariatric surgery is a sign of failure. I should be able to lose weight with diet and exercise.

Obesity is not just a weight problem. It’s a long-term disease caused by genetics, metabolism, lifestyle choices and other factors, including endocrine disorders, diseases and medications. People who are affected by severe obesity are often resistant to weight loss through diet and exercise. If you opt for bariatric surgery, you are taking an important step to regain your health, and that is a success, not a failure.

Myth: Insurance won’t cover it, and I can’t afford it.

Many people don’t realize that Medicare and Medicaid often cover weight-loss surgery. In addition, many insurance companies now offer coverage for weight-loss surgery that is determined to be medically necessary. …

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