Busting the Top Three Myths about Bariatric Surgery

GHSH Website Question Homepage Banner Bariatric Surgery 961 x 300When it comes to weight management and obesity, the internet is a grab bag of conflicting information, all touting itself as accurate. Luckily, Memorial Bariatric Services, part of the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, has the facts in an area riddled with fiction.

Myth 1: Bariatric surgery is a “quick fix” for obesity.

Fact: Bariatric surgery is a tool that can aid in what will be a lifelong commitment to health.

“Believing in ‘quick fixes’ with bariatric surgery is like believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy,” said Max Hammer, MD, bariatric surgeon with Springfield Clinic and one of the five physician leaders for the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center. “Bariatric surgery is designed to remedy a lifetime of problems that can shorten one’s lifespan and decrease one’s satisfaction with his or her current situation in life. Morbid obesity is dangerous. The fix is for life. It requires dedication and commitment.”

Myth 2: I won’t be able to eat without getting sick after bariatric surgery.

Fact: By following your new nutritional guidelines, you can minimize the possibility of getting sick after eating.

“Bariatric surgery provides portion control,” Dr. Hammer said. “If you get sick each time you eat, you are either eating too much, too fast or not chewing well enough.”

To prevent nausea or vomiting after eating, Memorial Bariatric Services teaches patients new eating habits, such as slowing down, chewing foods well and taking small bites. These new habits aren’t only important preventive measures, but better and more satisfying methods of eating with or without bariatric surgery.

Myth 3: After bariatric surgery, I won’t have to worry about diet or exercise anymore.

Fact: Patients will need to continue an exercise and diet regimen to maintain their health moving forward.

According to Dr. Hammer, 20 percent of patients will see some weight regain after surgery. This is called recidivism and typically occurs in patients who disregard their dietary intake and exercise. To avoid recidivism, Dr. Hammer recommends incorporating any physical activity for 30 minutes a day and being mindful of eating a healthy balanced diet—not only in the months after surgery, but for life.

“Surgery is only a tool,” Dr. Hammer said. “Living a healthful life requires dedication and commitment each and every day.”