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Top Myths about Weight Loss Surgery

  • Category: Surgery, Weight Loss
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Dr. Karalyn Bentley, Bariatric Surgery
Top Myths about Weight Loss Surgery

Nearly one out of four adults in Louisiana faces obesity, and we know it can lead to poorer overall health. And while bariatric surgery and weight loss go hand in hand, trimming down isn’t the only perk of this life-changing procedure. In addition to longer life expectancy, you can lower your blood pressure, protect your heart health, better control diabetes, and reduce your risk for many types of cancer. But despite the long list of positives, only 1% of people who qualify for bariatric surgery get the procedure, in large part because of misconceptions surrounding it.

Let’s clear up some of the top misconceptions we hear:

It’s too risky of a surgery.

When you take a closer look, the risks of obesity are much greater than the risks of bariatric surgery for most people. Every surgery has risks, but bariatric procedures are among the safest around, even when compared to very common procedures like gallbladder removals and knee replacements. And robotic techniques for bariatric surgery have come a long way in the past 10 years, meaning most patients are home the next day.

I wouldn’t qualify because I don’t have 100+ pounds to lose.

Many people think that weight loss surgery is only for severely obese people. But, many times the most successful candidates are overweight or obese with pre-existing conditions that are impacting both their health and quality of life.For example, if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher and have at least one obesity-related medical condition including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or high cholesterol type, you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery. If you have a BMI over 35, you also would qualify, whether you have other medical conditions or not.

It wouldn’t be covered by my insurance.

Don’t be so sure. Many insurance companies do cover weight loss surgery if you haven’t successfully lost weight with other methods. Plans and procedures vary, but in general, many companies will cover if you have either a BMI over 40, or have a BMI of 35 or more with weight-related health conditions (i.e., diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea or arthritis).

Weight loss surgery is just the easy way out.

The easy way would be to keep doing what you’ve been doing. Once you start the process of undergoing weight loss surgery, you’ll realize it’s anything but a quick fix – it takes a lot of work, before and after surgery. On average, it’s a 4-6 month process that includes physical and psychological consultations, healthy living coaching with a registered dietitian, pre-operative classes and more. Yes, you will experience weight loss quickly, but the end goal is to help patients learn new, healthier habits for long-term success.

If you are considering weight loss surgery, learn more here.

Karalyn Bentley

Karalyn Bentley, MD
Baton Rouge General Advanced Robotics Institute 

Phone: (225) 333-3800