As a weight loss surgeon, one of the many questions I get from patients about weight loss surgery is “Do I have too many medical problems for surgery?” The answer is NO! Weight loss surgery is meant for patients with multiple, and in most cases severe, medical problems. Most, if not all, problems that we have as humans can be linked to excess weight. The most common problem we deal with is diabetes and weight loss surgery is usually a CURE for this chronic disease.
Most patients have a misconception that weight loss surgery is exceptionally risky. In fact these surgeries have less risk that other commonly performed procedures. Some of the common myths of weight loss surgery that patients ask are:
1. I have diabetes
Does these make me a poor candidate? Absolutely not! This is one of the most common problems we can cure with weight loss surgery.
2. I’m too old to have surgery
Age is relative. Certainly the older we are, the more risk surgery has, however we routinely perform weight loss surgery on patients in their 70’s. There is no absolute age that is an exclusion. We talk to each patient and help them decide what is right for them.
3. Everyone dies from surgery
This is the craziest misconception. Weight loss surgery is safer then other commonly performed surgeries such as a knee replacement or the removal of your appendix. As seen in the chart below, obesity is more likely to kill patients if they do not have surgery than if they do undergo the procedure.
4. Everyone gains their weight back
Most patients in excess of 75% lose and maintain the vast majority of the weight they lost. Yes, it is true that anyone can regain the weight after surgery, however it is up to you to hold yourself to a healthy lifestyle post surgery.
Below are other common misconceptions that I am frequently asked. I am re-posting these from the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. Share this information with some who is suffering from the disease of obesity.
Misconceptions from ASMBS website