Not everything you have heard about medical weight loss surgery is true. Misunderstandings persist about bariatric weight loss programs.
“Unfortunately, there is still bias about medical weight loss methods,” explained Charlotte Hodges, MD, director of bariatric surgery at White Rock Medical Center.
“The truth is that bariatrics is safe, evidence-based medical care for a metabolic disease. And, choosing an accredited organization helps ensure high quality care and safe, successful outcomes.”
Because it’s important to learn about your health from reliable experts, Dr. Hodges shares five common myths about weight loss surgery and the truth to help educate and dispel myths.
MYTH 1: You should be able to lose weight on your own.
FACT: Obesity is a complex disease characterized by storage of excess body fat. There are several factors that play a role in the development of obesity, including genetic, biochemical, and physiological factors. Certain biological factors such as environmental, cultural, socioeconomic, and psychological issues also contribute to the development of obesity. In particular, your genetics plays a major role in the ability to lose and maintain weight.
Leave behind the shame and blame. Consult a medical expert to determine if a medical solution makes sense for your individual situation. Each person is different and should have a personalized plan.
MYTH 2: Most people regain the weight.
FACT: 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, dietitian, and care team. 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.
Find a wholistic program, one that goes beyond just the surgery, offering nutrition counseling, support groups, mental health support and physicians who are available and willing to help you throughout your journey to health.
MYTH 3: Surgery is riskier than the weight.
FACT: Quite the opposite is true. A higher body mass index (BMI) is a risk factor for a lower quality of health including increased risk of chronic disease and related complications and shorter life span. Obesity is a metabolic disease that is often associated with other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It also impacts musculoskeletal health and can lead to orthopedic problems.
While any surgery carries risks, weight loss surgery has been proven to be as safe as many types of common surgeries.
What’s more, new advancements, such as minimally invasive robotic technology, are safe, reduce risk of infections and can be less traumatic for patients, allowing for a more gentle and often quicker recovery. Learn more about robotic surgical expertise at White Rock Medical Center.
MYTH 4: Surgery is the easy way out.
FACT: Bariatric medical care is a tool on the journey to health. The truth is that surgery is not a silver bullet. Weight loss is hard work no matter how it’s achieved. It requires long-term commitment to health and a healthy lifestyle. If surgery is determined to be the best option, know that post-surgery life includes mindful, balanced eating, mental health support, physical activity and other changes that improve not just weight but your overall health and well-being.
MYTH 5: Just find a good deal. All bariatric clinics do the same surgeries.
FACT: Your health journey should be specific to you. Seek a physician who can help determine the best option for you so that your plan of care is personalized to your needs.
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, employ medical best practices, meet rigorous reporting requirements regarding medical care that show positive outcomes and quality of care, and undergo an on-site review. Learn more about bariatric surgery accreditation at www.facs.org/quality-programs/mbsaqip.
About White Rock Medical Center
White Rock Medical Center 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, please visit www.whiterockmedicalcenter.com.