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10 Myths and facts of Bariatric Surgery

1. Surgery is the “easy way out.”

  • lots of hard work.
  • rigorous evaluation
  • educational classes
  • Optimization of on lifelong healthy habits and behaviors.
  • It requires a great commitment and desire to achieve a valuable lifelong goal.

    2. Weight loss surgery has high risks.

    weight loss surgery is performed very safely with low risks in the hands of experienced surgeons and centers.

    3. One has to weigh over 100 kilograms to qualify for weight loss surgery.

    Candidature for weight loss surgery depends on diseases along with the Body Mass Index [BMI, weight (kg) / height (m) 2].For Indian population, the criteria are a BMI of 37.5 kg/m2 or 32.5 kg/m2 with co-morbidities. Each individual is assessed based on his or her specific health conditions and the Body Mass Index calculation.

    4. One has to be in perfect health to qualify for weight loss surgery.

    Many people undergoing weight loss surgery do have health problems related to obesity. Each person should be assessed by an experienced bariatric surgeon to determine candidacy.

    5. There is a long recovery time after weight loss surgery.

    Most people recover from weight loss surgery within one to two weeks.

    6. After weight loss surgery, patients won’t be able to eat anything that’s good.

    One has to be on monitored diet for initial few months. Most people can eat just about anything after weight loss surgery in small quantities. But they have to be careful about what they eat, as even bariatric procedures can be failed by eating high calorie liquid diet or alcohol intake.

    7. One has to be a certain age to have weight loss surgery.

    While it’s true that many centers describe age criteria, the range is usually very wide such as from 18 to 65 years.

    8. Weight loss surgery has no real benefits except for looking better.

    Many of the health complications (diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, migraines, joint pains, infertility etc.) caused by being overweight can be dramatically improved or, in some cases, completely resolved by surgical weight loss procedures.

    9. The patient will have a large incision and a big scar from weight-loss surgery.

    Most centers perform over 95% of the weight loss surgical cases with minimally-invasive surgery (laparoscopy or robotics). Now, it is being performed using robotic surgery as well, which increases the precision and further refines the procedure.

    10. Weight loss surgery is irreversible.

    While most weight-loss surgeons and centers believe that it is best to think of the surgery as permanent, the truth is that some of the procedures can be reversed, albeit with chances of complications.


    Dr. Vivek Bindal

    MS, MRCS (Glasg), DNB, MNAMS, FNB