Obesity and its management have consistently been issues under intense debate and scrutiny.

Excess weight is a health issue that a lot of us grapple with today. With the sharp increase in obesity rates worldwide, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is an extremely complex disease with a web of causal factors.

Like for all health issues, there’s medical treatment for excess weight. One therapy that is becoming increasingly popular is weight-loss surgery.

Recent research has revealed that the “set point theory” is being debated as a new and pathbreaking find about how our body sometimes seems to literally fight against all attempts to lose weight.

You can find an explanation for this here:

Understanding this theory helps dispel one of the most prevalent myths that overweight people just need to “step up” and work on losing weight.

In the previous post by award-winning surgeon Dr Ravi Rao, we have obtained answers for some of the most commonly asked questions about bariatric surgery. In this post, we aim to increase your knowledge about this treatment and clear up a few more doubts.

Related Read: Why Dieting May Not Be a Solution for Obesity

MYTH 1: Instant results? What are THOSE?

TRUTH: While bariatric surgery does not provide instant weight loss, it is a powerful factor in helping both short-term and long-term weight loss, and more importantly, keeping the weight off. In fact, studies state that patients who underwent weight-loss surgery lost 20% more total body weight in the long term compared to similarly overweight patients who did not undergo surgery [1].

MYTH 2: You’ll become malnourished

TRUTH: Again, not true! Diet management and supplements are needed before and after surgery and if you are diligent with the two, malnutrition is highly unlikely. Doctors and nutritionists will of course work to provide you with a suitable diet both before and after surgery. The post-operative diet will need to be balanced with supplements and the right nutrients. Interestingly, some reports have found that people actually change their food preferences to healthier ones after bariatric surgery. Now this is something we can get behind!

MYTH 3: No kids!

TRUTH: It is so untrue! While it is a fairly popular myth, there is absolutely no truth in the myth that one cannot have children or get pregnant after weight-loss surgery. While a gap of at least a year is recommended between surgery and pregnancy, the same holds true for any major surgery. In fact, research shows that weight-loss surgery lowers the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders that reduce pregnancy-related risks [2].

MYTH 4: You will need plastic surgery after bariatric surgery.

TRUTH: There are two main fears related to the bariatric surgery – one, that it will cause a big scar, and two, you’ll be left with a lot of loose skin after losing the weight.

Currently, most weight loss surgeries are performed with laparoscopy, where the surgeon creates tiny incisions and operates through them. So, there is no big scar that will require plastic surgery. Moreover, very few patients end up with large amounts of excess skin after losing weight following bariatric surgery. As we mentioned before, the weight loss happens at a moderate pace, so there is every chance your skin will shrink along with the rest of you[3]. Nevertheless, there are options to get rid of this issue if it does develop.

Footnotes:

[1] – Bariatric Surgery and Long-term Durability of Weight Loss
[2] – Outcomes of pregnancy after bariatric surgery
[3] – Plastic Surgery after Massive Weight Loss

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