Bariatric Surgery – The Myths And The Facts
Patients often confuse themselves with the notion of Bariatric surgeries, thinking it is an easier way to lose fat and become thinner than before. While the idea of losing weight seems correct, the way the procedure works is different from what it is perceived. In simpler words, Bariatric surgeries do not involve removal of fats from a person’s body.
While there are different types of bariatric surgeries, done in various manners, which depends on the weight issues of the patient and which particular procedure would help the patient better. Below are the types of Bariatric surgeries that are commonly conducted by surgeons on patients;
- Gastric Sleeve
- Gastric Bypass
- Duodenal Switch
- Gastric Balloon
- Mini Gastric Bypass
Each of the types mentioned above has a different purpose depending on the patient’s needs, but they all have an ultimate goal, to help lose weight. While many people around the world are of different opinions when it comes to bariatric surgery, the real benefits of this procedure get hidden by perceptions about it by people far and wide.
The myths have a stronghold when it comes to methods like the bariatric surgeries, and below are some of the commonly known myths people believe about it and facts which are true enough to contradict those misleading perceptions.
1. Bariatric surgery is same as liposuction
The perceived surgery where fat removal is essential is called liposuction, which also falls under the cosmetic surgery category. However, bariatric surgery is a procedure conducted on the stomach, to help it eventually lose weight in the future. It focuses more on modifying the stomach and control the intake and calorie portions it was earlier used to, and eventually help the person lose weight in the right way.
This means that Bariatric surgeries at no point suggest the idea of fat removal. Instead, it promotes weight loss.
2. Bariatric surgery is painful surgery and involve multiple large incision requiring prolonged bed rest
All of this depends on our perception of pain. It is a surgery, there will be incisions, so some amount of pain is to be expected, but it will not be anything that you cannot manage. It is done by laparoscopic surgery – which will involve multiple small sub centimeters incisions. You are expected be hospitalised for two to three days. If you have had a laparoscopic surgery, your recovery time will be much shorter.
3. Your co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension remain same after bariatric surgery
Patients who face weight gain issues due to high diabetes, hypertension and other factors choose bariatric surgery after it is clear their existing procedures failure to improve them. Opting for bariatric surgery helps them get rid of the problems, not instantaneously but gradually after the surgery.
While the changes take shape, the diabetes, hypertension and other problems are slowly resolved along with a gradual stop to the medications needed for those. It means, that at a steady rate, the patient rids those diseases after the surgery. Them being free of those diseases are subject to how much they are committed to the cause and follow the given instructions after the surgery.
4. You cannot eat any solids after bariatric surgery In the first week after your surgery, you should only consume clear liquids, but as you begin to hit the ten-day mark, you can start consuming lighter liquids like clear soups and fruit juices. Once you are into your third week after the surgery, you can make a transition to consuming pureed food, while continuing with your liquid intake. It is safe for you to consume solids after about four weeks of surgery.
5. Bariatric surgery is life threatening with high rate of mortality Bariatric surgery, in contrast to what is believed is a safe procedure, to begin with. Over time it is considered as reliable as a hernia operation with a mortality rate of 0.05% and a re-operational chance of 0.01%. The other issue here is fat removal, which is not part of bariatric surgeries.
6. Youngsters who are obese should not undergo Bariatric Surgery to get healthy.
Young people can always opt for bariatric surgery of their medical condition demands it. There have been people aged between 12 to 70 years who have opted for this procedure. Along with that one need to be grossly obese to take it as well. Obesity is not a single category, it has many layers which define the obesity levels in a person. For instance, a person with more than 30> BMI could opt for bariatric surgery, and need not have gross obesity for the same.
7. Obesity is a cosmetic hazard but not a disease
It is a disease. Obesity kills more than at least 2.8 million each year, which makes it a disease, or not something that has got to do with any cosmetic hazard. Obesity causes problems like diabetes, heart problems, hypertension, hypothyroidism among others.
8. Patients are deprived of eating their favourite foods and cannot eat properly.
Patients will not be deprived of eating as such, on the contrary, the quantity one eats is dependent on how much the stomach can take. After a bariatric surgery a patient’s stomach is altered and might eat less compared to what they used to before, but that does not mean they eat incomplete.
9. Costs for this procedure is expensive It could be in a way correct that it could be costly to perform bariatric surgery, but post-surgery, the patient usually is rid of the many medicines and treatments, to avoid which is this procedure done in the first place. It would necessarily mean the patient could recover the costs in as much as two years post-surgery.
10. Bariatric Surgery is against nature and will result in reduced energy levels.
Bariatric surgeries may alter some parts of the stomach’s function, but it does not interfere with digestion procedure. Hence it is not creating anything new or alien for the body to process. Regarding the energy levels, it tends to increase within a short period after the procedure. As there would be reduced breathlessness, less joint pains and better nutrition, there is no reason to believe in having reduced energy levels.
11. Pregnancy and delivery could become unsafe after surgery.
Pregnancy needs to avoid for a year after the surgery. Post that, the cycles become regular and on the other hand fertility improves. So considering those facts, there is no risk in safety for pregnancy or deliveries.
There are many such myths that people tend to believe and subsequently avoid a bariatric surgery with fears of those coming true at some stage. The idea of bariatric surgery is to lead the patient to a healthier life and allow the loss of weight to happen in the right manner. Fat removal has no part in bariatric surgeries, and it is a procedure performed solely on the stomach.
About The Doctor:
Dr. Venugopal Pareek is one of the best Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon in the city having done more than 9000 surgeries in 12 years. Trained in the esteemed Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Surgical Oncology, Dr. Pareek has the expertise in Bariatric Surgery. He has attended several conferences and published articles on medicine as well in various national and international journals.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Bariatric Surgery in Hyderabad.