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Weight-loss Surgery Misconceptions

Weight-loss Surgery Misconceptions

Weight-loss surgery Misconceptions and lack of understanding that exists among the general public and prospective patients are numerous.

Most of these misconceptions really have no basis and they are often founded on ignorance and falsehood. We are taught to fear and avoid what we cannot understand.

And this general lack of knowledge about bariatric surgery hinders a lot of people who would benefit immensely from these weight loss procedures from seeking help.

In this article, bariatric surgeon, Dr. Nagi Jean Safa aims to demystify bariatric surgery and provide information that will help anyone who is considering weight loss surgery as a treatment option for their obesity or related complications.


Weight-loss Surgery is a short-cut: NO IT IS NOT

Actually, because obesity is a disease; there are people whose only option for obesity treatment is surgery. People living with severe obesity often have no other choice really. While exercise and dieting may help some lose a little weight (if any), this weight is often regained very easily. Some patients with severe obesity have chronic joint pain that cannot allow them to exercise.

People who opt for surgery actually sacrifice a lot because after the surgery; they are required to maintain a certain diet for the rest of their lives in order to maintain the weight-loss.


Weight-loss surgery is too risky: NO IT IS NOT

Actually, this is untrue. The risks of bariatric surgery are considered to be the same or even less than the risks of a gallbladder surgery or a knee surgery.  In fact obesity experts and most other health experts agree that the risk of living with moderate or severe obesity far outweighs the risks of having a weight-loss surgery. Obesity and complications arising from obesity are the leading causes of premature death all over the world.


You will still need Medication for Diabetes Even after Weight-Loss Surgery: IT DEPENDS

This is also untrue. The truth is that more than 78% of obese diabetics experience a significant improvement and remission of their diabetes after surgery and go on to live healthy lives without having to use any anti-diabetic medication.  More than 60% cases of hypertension and high blood pressure went into remission as well.


You Will still Regain Weight Even after Surgery: IT DEPENDS

Research shows that with bariatric surgery, patients lose a lot more weight (up to 25% of their body weight) than those who lost weight through exercise and diets. What’s more patients who choose bariatric surgery tend to sustain the weight loss long-term. After surgery, patients also have to adopt a new diet and lifestyle to ensure that they maintain their weight.


Most Patients Who Undergo Bariatric Surgery Become Alcoholics: OF COURSE NOT

The truth is that patients who have undergone bariatric surgery should be careful with their alcohol intake. Although research shows that most people who tend to drink too much after weight loss surgery have had issues with alcohol before their surgery, it is still important to be careful. Your health will thank you!


Obesity is not a Disease: YES IT IS

Many people still believe that obesity is not a disease and overweight and obese people should just eat better and stop being lazy. This is the saddest falsehood. Obesity is in fact a serious disease that is linked to many other serious health complications that ultimately cause premature death.

Everyone’s body is genetically different and this is why some people eat the same amount of food portions as the average person but still add on a lot of weight. It is the same reason why other people do not seem to add any weight at all regardless of what they eat.


Patients Develop Serious Nutrient Deficiencies after Bariatric Surgery: NO

This is also an untruth that goes hand in hand with the misconception that all weight loss surgeries are the same. Both statements are not true.  While some mal-absorptive procedures may put patients at risk of developing vitamin, mineral and protein deficiencies; such deficiencies are usually avoided by taking a balanced diet and supporting it with dietary and protein supplements.

There exist nutrient guidelines that have been established for the different types of weight loss surgeries.

At Advanced BMI our weight-loss surgical team , includes a nutritionist experienced in weight-loss nutrition; who will walk you through the whole surgical process. That means before, during and after surgery.


Bariatric Surgery is Only Advisable for Adults: NO, FOR ADOLESCENT ALSO

There is a huge misconception that children cannot undergo weight-loss surgery. Research shows that teenagers who undergo bariatric surgery benefit from a reduced amount of blood fats. They are also able to lose and maintain their weight-loss. Another study estimated that eight years, after bariatric surgery, an obese teen will shed off more than 30% of their body weight.


You Can’t Get Pregnant After Weight-Loss Surgery: YES YOU CAN

The truth is that obese women often have more fertility problems than women with average weight. In addition, they are also much more likely to experience complications in pregnancy including preeclampsia, hypertension, gestational diabetes, birth defects and miscarriages.

The only reason why women of childbearing age are advised to wait between a year and a year and a half after surgery to conceive is because the pregnancy is likely to interfere with their weight-loss during this period.


Bariatric Surgery is Too Expensive: NOT ANYMORE

Many people may decide not to opt for weight-loss surgery because they consider it too expensive. If not covered by insurance, the upfront costs of weight surgery can be a lot. However, people also fail to realize that initial cost of the surgery as a treatment for obesity will be a lot less if you consider the long term cost of treatment of obesity related complications and co-morbidities including: Type 2 diabetes, kidney problems, high blood pressure etc.

Research shows that after a bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity, patients saw their medical costs lower by around forty percent in less than for 4 years. Bariatric surgery was found to be especially beneficial for obese diabetics; the bariatric surgery paid for itself within the same period as in a majority of the cases, the diabetes was reversed or significantly improved.

As you notice, weight-loss surgery misconceptions are numerous. For this reason, it is important to consult a certified bariatric surgeon, that can demystify the whole subject.

If you are considering weight loss surgery in Lebanon but still have questions, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to be of help.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.