Common worries about bariatric surgery

It’s important to take steps that put you on a path toward a healthier life. Choosing weight loss surgery as one of your tools on that journey can cause fears and worries but asking questions will help you choose the right journey for you to a healthy life.

“During initial consultations, I often meet with people who have fears and doubts. Bariatric surgery is a personal decision and one that should be given careful thought and research. But don’t be afraid to ask questions so that you can make an informed decision that’s right for your journey to health,” advised Charlotte Hodges, MD, medical director of bariatric surgery at White Rock Medical Center.

Over many years, Dr. Hodges has met with many new patients and helped them weigh and balance their decision for bariatric surgery. Based on her experience, she shares these common worries and what to know.

What if I don’t lose weight right away?

Every person is different, and the amount of weight loss and time varies based on several factors. Along with surgery or other medical intervention, every patient will need to commit to creating a healthy lifestyle.

“The key word to remember is that this is a journey. There is no finish line. Instead, it’s important to focus on developing good habits for life. Post-surgery, patients will always need to be mindful of nutrition, physical activity, sleep habits and other healthy habits,” Dr. Hodges said.

What if people judge me?

We never recommend people undertake weight loss surgery in secret. That doesn’t mean you have to broadcast your decision. However, an important element of success is having the support you need. Ask for help when you need it. Find a comprehensive center that will have the wrap-around services you need like nutrition counseling, peer support groups and other programs that will help you succeed.

“There is nothing embarrassing about embracing good health and forging a path to a bright future and a long life. Be proud you’re taking control of your health. You might even inspire others!” Dr. Hodges said.

What if I regain the weight?

There are people who have regained some weight and there are a variety of reasons why. But most people maintain their new healthy and active lifestyles. Studies show that you can be successful long term if you follow the lifestyle changes and guidelines recommended by your physician. Once someone is committed to creating a healthy lifestyle, a comprehensive bariatrics program can provide the tools needed to meet health goals and maintain them for years to come.

What if I don’t know which kind of surgery is best for me?

While it’s important for you to do the research about your options, don’t make the decision on your own. Instead, seek out skilled, bariatric expertise.

“An experienced medical provider will work with you to determine if you are a candidate and what the best treatment is for your individual situation. You and your provider should develop your customized plan together,” Dr. Hodges added.

Find a center that is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®). To achieve this national accreditation, a center must adhere to established standards and best practices and meet rigorous requirements. Learn more about bariatric surgery accreditation at

About White Rock Medical Center

White Rock Medical Center is recognized by Healthgrades for superior performance in bariatric surgery and is one of only 11 healthcare facilities in the U.S. accredited as a Comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Center with Adolescent Care and Obesity Medicine by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. For more information about our expertise and care, including bariatrics, please visit